Chernobyl is a small town in the Ukraine near the Belarus border. One-hundred ten kilometers north of Kiev (the capital city of the Ukraine with a population of 2.4 million) lies Chernobyl (with a population of 12,500). Three kilometers northwest of the reactors is the city of Pripyat, with a population of 45,000. The Pripyat River and the Dniepr River flow past the nuclear power station on their way to the Kiev Reservoir, which is south of the power station. The nuclear power station of Chernobyl lies 15 kilometers to the northwest of the actual Chernobyl town. 
In 1986, the USSR generated roughly 10% of the world's nuclear power from only 43 operating reactors. Together they produced 27 thousand Mega Watts of electricity. Another 36 reactors were still under construction that would produce 37 thousand Mega Watts of electricity. Still in their planning stages were another 34 reactors which would ultimately represent 36 thousand Mega Watts of electricity. 
By 1986, the year of the accident, four of the reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power station were the most modern to date Soviet reactors, the RBMK-type. Two more of these reactors were still under construction at the station.
More maps of Chernobyl and its surroundings:
[ Chernobyl Quiz ~ Team ~ Credits ]