Although the partial meltdown resulted in some contamination within the plant, nobody died or got injured. However, the other casualty was the nuclear energy industry itself. The accident stirred public protest and subsequently led the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to tighten its regulatory oversight over the industry. It also contributed to a freeze in the construction of new nuclear plants in the U.S. over the next three decades.
Around 200 people died after a ruptured reactor vessel and fire caused an explosion, resulting in the release into the environment of radioactive materials.
Researchers tracking an increase in the number of thyroid cancer cases in the region believe the rise is related to the Chernobyl accident. However, the long-term health impact on local residents is still unclear and experts believe it will take years to quantify.