In the early morning hours of December 22, 2008, the earthen wall of a containment pond at Tennessee’s Kingston Fossil Plant gave way. The breach released 1.3 million cubic meters (1.7 cubic yards) of sludge, infiltrating a nearby river and damaging dozens of homes.
On April 26, 1986, the world’s worst nuclear power accident occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near the Ukrainian-Belarus border. Toxic radionuclides like Cs137 and Sr90 contaminated an area of 155,000 square kilometers in what is today Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed, sickened from radiation-induced illnesses, or resettled to uncontaminated land. This image, taken from the Russian Mir spacecraft, shows Chernobyl and the surrounding countryside.
A representation of the pressure local populations put on their ecosystem, this map shows how much plant matter people need for food and other products compared to the amount of plant material produced in each region.