However, Ed Partidge was living in Germany at the time. He has related his story for us.
Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the explosion and fire at the Chernobyl, Ukraine nuclear power plant. Today is the 20th anniversary of the day I learned about it. Twenty years ago today I woke up in my motel room on the outskirts of Bonn, Federal Republic of Germany (as it was called then…aka West Germany), strolled across the street and met my boss for breakfast. We were there for a conference with the NATO political committee, and we represented Allied Forces Central Europe, the largest war-fighting headquarters in NATO (at the time, anyway…I have no idea if it even still exists today). At the restaurant I picked up a copy of the European edition of the International Herald Tribune, and there was a photo of a smoking nuclear power plant, located exactly 1,000 miles due east from where I sat sipping coffee. For the next ten days the plant burned, and while it did a cloud of dust containing iodine-131 and caesium-137 spread slowly, irrevocably over all of Europe.