A serious reactor accident occurred on April 26, 1986 at Chernobyl near Kiev (Soviet Union) where, after melting of the core, there was a considerable release of radioactivity to the environment and to the atmosphere. The radioactivity release caused irradiation of the operating staff, which led to 24 deaths by June 1986. Hardly anything is known about the irradiation of the environment of the reactor plant, but the population within a radius of 30 km was evacuated. The radioactivity released into the atmosphere spread all over Europe, and Germany was affected a few days after the accident. The article gives a short description of the plant which suffered the accident, one tries to describe the course of the accident and to discuss the applicability to German plants.