In 2011, Chernobyl was joined by the Fukushima Daiichi (Japan) nuclear disaster in this Level 7 classification.
So far, it is estimated that far more than 500.000 workers have participated to the hundreds-of-millions-U.S. Dollar-effort in order to contain the contamination. Various reports indicate that 25.000 of them have died and 75.000 were disabled. Additional reports suggest that up to 20% of those deaths were in fact suicides... The official death toll exceeds 100.000 world wide.
In modern Ukraine, the impact of the psychological distress caused by the disaster is still a major public health concern. After the event, numerous doctors across Ukraine, Europe and the Soviet Union advised their pregnant patients to abort in order to avoid bearing children with birth defects despite the fact the radiation levels the women had been exposed to were 'too low to cause problems'.
Today almost all the nuclear material (around 200 tons) remain in the faulty reactor #4 surrounded by a crumbling concrete and steel emergency containment sarcophagus while the rest of the plant continued to operate until 2000. A second sarcophagus is being built since then and should be ready for 2017. Officials claim it could take up to 100 years before the station will be completely decommissioned...