According to the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) and Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski the actual number of deaths due to the industrial disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant's #4 reactor totals no more than 34. There will undoubtedly be more in the coming years, but with the current precautions instituted by the Soviet Union and carried on by Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia appear to be more than sufficient. My own opinion after reviewing the information is that while it is possible there are more deaths due to the explosion in AD 1986, but the number at the very most is 100. I also think it is likely to be no more than twice the 31 so far known and will total no more than 300 in the 50 years following the accident.

In the days following AD 1986 April 26th a total of 28 people working at the power plant or fighting the resultant fire died of radiation poisoning. Two more died of burns from the (non-radioactive) fire that broke out and mechanical trauma and one more died of coronary thrombosis. Additionally 105 people were hospitalized for radiation sickness and survived out of 470 on site at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant at the time of the accident. As of AD 1997 14 of them had died, none of radiation related diseases.

Many estimates were made about the increased exposure to radiation in the immediate area and the Soviet government decided to evacuate 270 000 people from areas that had received a peak radiation dose of between 6 and 60 millisieverts (mSv). Living in these Chernobyl-contaminated regions would give an average lifetime dose of 210 mSv. However the total number of deaths in the years since attributable to radiation from Chernobyl may be 3 from thyroid cancer, but that is not conclusivly proven. The total increase in background radiation outside the former Soviet Union is estimated to be between 0.01% and 0.3% in Europe and 0.004% in North America. Some estimated that this would result in a 300% increase of cancer deaths over the 50 years following, but in retrospect it seems these estimates may have been a bit hysterical. It would take at least a long term exposure to dosage of 1000 mSv to result in cancer.

Certainly not the most devastating accident of the 20th century.