“Around 8,000 km and 25 years separate the catastrophic Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters. There are clear differences between the Ukraine and Japan-based catastrophes, but what are some of the more subtle distinctions? And how were they similar?
Both power stations opened in the 1970s; Fukushima in 1971 and Chernobyl six years later. The Japanese plant was, then, operating for 40 years before the disaster and the Ukrainian just nine. At the time of each disaster, six reactors were running at Fukushima and four at Chernobyl.
At a first glance, the incidents appear to have different causes. The Chernobyl reactor explosion on April 26, 1986, was the result of an experiment carried out by plant personnel. The Fukushima meltdown, meanwhile, was triggered by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami on March 11, 2011.
However, construction mistakes and negligence have since been cited as being behind both catastrophes.”