Cities and nuclear reactors. Long-term friendship or involuntary tolerance?


The raving success of the mini-series about Chernobyl has boosted the interest about nuclear energy and nuclear power plants among the broad audience. The viral popularity of Chernobyl topic has left a prominent footprint even in Wikipedia. More than 400 nuclear reactors are being operated worldwide and we keep relying on the nuclear energy crediting its low dependence on the carbon and high efficiency in energy generation. Nevertheless, only few of us feel 100% safe to be living near a Cyclopic reactor generating nuclear power since the memories about 3 power plants disasters including Three Mile Island Accident, aforementioned Chernobyl disaster and Fukushima post-tsunami disaster are still fresh. Chernobyl, the name of a small town in Ukraine has become proverbial and aligned alongside with Hiroshima in the book with dark pages of human history. The consequences of Chernobyl were so devastating that thousands of people were affected in the first days and arguably dozens and hundreds of thousands many years later. One of the scariest things we learned during the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 is how quick the air masses containing radioactively contaminated particles can reach very remote areas with respect to the location of the meltdown. In the modern world we often move from one place to another and while memories about our hometown infrastructure remains vital in our brain, the knowledge about the new places we live is usually more limited. So, do you know how close are you currently living to the closest nuclear reactor? Should you worry about nuclear meltdown in your neighborhood or at least being informed about that? You can easily get such information by accessing the open-access dataset of nuclear reactor locations from the NASA SEDAC depository. Here is our map giving a clue about the shortest distance between each town and city in the world to the nearest nuclear reactor. P.s. If you check the vicinity of your city to the nearest nuclear reactor, then some of you can get surprised by finding that some nuclear reactors are located within few kilometers from a city center of your town and you never heard about that. The best example is St. Petersburg (Russia) that is located in a "chock-a-block" distance to the nuclear reactor according to SEDAC data. However, St. Petersburg case is rather unique since Russian government has been manufacturing an unprecedented system of Floating nuclear power station called Akademik Lomonosov. Data from: SEDAC online depositoty

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