According to the International Nuclear Event Scale, a scale designed to describe the comparative magnitude of nuclear accidents, each increasing level on the scale represents an accident ten times more severe than the previous level. The levels range from 1 to 7, 1 being the least severe and categorized as an anomaly, and 7 being the most severe, categorized as a major accident. The incident at Chernobyl (categorized at level 7) resulted in a death toll of 56 as well as estimated 4,000 additional cancer fatalities among 600,000 people exposed to elevated doses of radiation. The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima directly killed an estimated 80,000 people. Injury and radiation brought total casualties to 90,000-140,000 by the end of the year. Although both awful, I would have to say the damage done by one atomic bomb is worse than the nuclear melt down at Chernobyl.
This outcome is arguable. Different nuclear bombs have had different powers to them, meaning some caused more destruction than others but most were done in testing and not used on populated centers. Chernobyl was more damaging than the 2 nuclear weapons dropped over japan as it affected more people. The nuclear weapons that were dropped over japan caused more physical destruction as buildings were completely destroyed and many died instantly. Chernobyl caused radiation sickness over a widespread area and continues to have an elevated radiation level around the site, especially within the 17 mile exclusion zone around chernobyl itself. I think the chernobyl disaster was more damaging than one atomic bomb going off because of the lasting effects of radiation. people continue to die and get cancer/birth deformities because of the chernobyl incident.
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