A Geiger counter measures radiation outside the Chernobyl (Ukraine) Nuclear Power Plant, which exploded in 1986. The explosion created a cloud of radioactive particles that fell to the ground, called fallout. The fallout drifted with the wind and entered the water cycle as rain. Radioactivity traced to Chernobyl fell as far away as Scotland and Ireland, although most fallout was detected in Belarus.

Photograph by Magda Soley, MyShot
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nuclear energy
nuclear energy Encyclopedic Entry

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Encyclopedic entry. Nuclear energy is the energy in the nucleus, or core, of an atom. Nuclear energy can be used to create electricity, but it must first be released from the atom.