The Forsmark plant, located an hour north of Stockholm, was the first to detect the Chernobyl disaster in April 1986. This early detection played a crucial role in forcing Soviet authorities to come forward with the truth. More than 100 radioactive elements were released into the atmosphere when the fourth Chernobyl reactor exploded. Most of these had short half-lives and disintegrated quickly, but three elements posed a greater risk: iodine, strontium, and cesium. Iodine has a half-life of 8 days, strontium has a half-life of 29 years, and cesium has a half-life of 30 years.
These elements can still be found in the area today. Iodine is linked to thyroid cancer, strontium can cause leukemia, and cesium affects the entire body, particularly the liver and spleen.