Chernobyl disaster explained ahead of gripping new C5 Ben Fogle documentary

Ben Fogle will offer a chilling reminder of the Chernobyl disaster tonight, 35 years after the power plant exploded causing the world's worst nuclear accident.

The cameras follow the 47-year-old as he spends a week living inside the exclusion zone.

He takes a trip to the radioactive wasteland more than three decades after the nuclear accident that sent shockwaves around the world.

The Channel 5 documentary will also see the presenter venture inside the creepy ruins of a hospital – and later explore the ghost town of Pripyat.

Ben is no stranger to huge challenges, of course.

He rowed the Atlantic, climbed Everest and trekked across the Sahara.

But the threat of radiation poisoning is still so intense, he was allowed to linger for just five minutes.

“We had to be tested with machines for radiation levels before, after, and multiple times during,” he explains. “You're advised to burn your clothes afterwards.”

What was the Chernobyl disaster?

Chernobyl is regarded as the world's worst ever nuclear disasters.

The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates between 4,000 and 27,000 people died as a result. Chernobyl is located in modern-day northern Ukraine as is still a no-go zone.

It was on 26 April 1986 when disaster struck.

Technicians at a nuclear reactor attempted to execute a flawed experiment.

The reactor’s power-regulating system was suddenly shut down, along with emergency safety systems.

The after 1am, a fireball which blew off the heavy steel and concrete of the reactor.

This huge explosion resulted in radioactive material pluming into the atmosphere – but it was carried huge distances and 30,000 inhabitants of nearby Pripyat were evacuated.

The heat and the radioactivity leaked from the reactor core were contained for days after.

Experts say that the vast area around the plant will be uninhabitable for the next 20,000 years, such were the levels of radiation in the aftermath.

Ben told The Mirror: “I had to do a course with a radiation expert before committing,so that I could actually explain to Marina and the children the risks involved.

"I decided that the benefits of making a film that would entertain people, educate people and maybe give them a little bit of hope, outweighed the risks to my own health,” he explains.

“There are risks there, for sure. But it's a bit like Everest, as long as you're sensible and as long as you listen to the experts and are very sensitive to this invisible force, you'll be OK.”

Inside Chernobyl with Ben Fogle airs on Wednesday 3rd March at 9pm on Channel 5.

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