Acrid smog resulting from the burning wildfire near the difunctional Chernobyl nuclear plant has covered Ukraine's capital city, Kyiv making it the city with worst air pollution in the world. According to the Swiss monitoring group, IQAir reports, the city pollution level currently matched that of many Chinese cities. In addition to that, the monitoring agency also reported that at one point on April 15, it topped the list of most polluted cities.
Most of the cities have stopped economic activities and movement as governments have imposed draconian measures, thereby, making Kyiv appear more polluted. However, this does not pose much threat to the residents who do not step out as a result of lockdown imposed to stem coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, the country’s health ministry has reportedly announced that the wrecked Chernobyl plant does not face any immediate threat and radiation level continue to remain normal.
Earlier this week, Greenpeace Russia reportedly warned that the forest fire that has been burning in Ukraine posed a radiation risk. According to media reports, a 2,600-square-kilometer (1,000-square-mile) Chernobyl Exclusion Zone was established after the April 1986 disaster at the plant that sent a cloud of radioactive fallout over much of Europe. However, the Ukrainian emergency situations services have said that the radiation levels in the exclusion zone have not changed. The department further said that, however, radiation levels in nearby Kyiv, the capital city have "not exceeded natural background levels."
Speaking about the spread of radiations, Rashid Alimav, head of energy projects at Greenpeace Russia reportedly said that fire, fanned by the high-speed wind, could disperse radionuclides, atoms that emit radiations. He added that a fire approaching a "nuclear or hazardous radiation" facility was always a risk. In the latest development, three new wildfires have started in the radiation-contaminated evacuation zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, International media citing emergency officials. A statement from the Emergencies Ministry said the fires were small and posed no threat to facilities holding radioactive waste. The statement did give an area for the fires or say how they started but said they were being fanned by gusty winds.