Chernobyl

Chernobyl pictures. Chernobyl is the site of mankind's most serious nuclear disaster: the inhabitants of the nearest towns were told by the authorities to leave their homes 'for a few days' — this happened about 25 years ago. Even though the last working reactor of Chernobyl was in operation until December 2000, most of the population will never be able to return to live in the houses they left behind in 1986. Short guided visits are allowed to the zone; radiation checks are performed on visitors leaving the area.

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Teddy bear in an abandoned nursery school near the Chernobyl power plant

Many buildings can now be visited in the Chernobyl Zone with tour guides (who know which areas are safe to visit)

Broken glass and wrecked furniture - none of the most obvious signs of decay in Chernobyl were caused by the radiation (at least not directly), but by looters and time

Approaching Chernobyl Power Plant in the Zone of Alienation

Bunny (probably placed there afterwards) on Prypiat's merry-go-round

Abandoned room in a tower block in Prypiat, the town closest to the destroyed reactor

A book titled 'The sociological issues of raising children' next to a book by Lenin

Bumper cars in Prypiat's amusement park

In the battle between nature and man nature is winning in Chernobyl - tree growing on the 8th floor of a tower block

The ferris wheel in Prypiat (which was never used; it was to open a few days after the catastrophe happened) became one of the icons of the catastrophe used in films and video games portraying the area

Tiny shop serving those still working in the area

Sapling growing on top of a building out of seemingly zero soil.

Gym

Kitchen

A USSR coat-of-arms (the hammer and sickle symbolising the Soviet Union's industrial workers and peasants)

Lion in the nursery school

The main square of Prypiat is slowly being overgrown by plants

Socialist art

An 1985 issue of the Komsomol's Banner; the Komsomol was a youth organization of the Communist Party; the main article has 'Central Committee' and 'Soviet Minister' in its title

Prypiat, the proud atom city

A room still in use in the town of Chernobyl (where thousands of researchers and firefighters still work every day) - nevertheless, time appears to have stopped here 25 years ago

Old beds in the nursery school

The concrete sarcophagus (swiftly erected after the explosion to minimize the amount of escaped radioactivity) around Reactor 4 of the Chernobyl's Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Power Plant.

Monument marking the entrance to Prypiat, established in 1970 solely to house the workers of the Chernobyl Power Plant

Standing a few hundred metres from the destroyed power plant

The Zone of Alienation

Road rules are very important

Gym

Empty shelves

A shop in the Chernobyl Zone - everything's brought in from outside the Zone as local produce may contain dangerous doses of radioactivity

Pub & shop

The town of Pripyat. Population in 1985: about 50,000. Population in 2010: 0.

Goals to achieve

Prypiat's former swimming pool

Most vehicles used during the rescue operations still emit dangerous levels of radioactivity and will probably be never used again (though more and more of them are stolen from these vehicle graveyards to be sold as scrap-metal)

On the top floor

Only a shadow of the former might of the USSR

Strangely the ghost town of Prypiat's much more idyllic than eerie with its lush vegetation, lack of human-generated noise, singing birds and clear skies.

The residents of Prypiat weren't told about the incident for more than a day and a half (the explosion wasn't strong enough for them to notice), during which time they were exposed to high levels of radiation

At the entrance of the Chernobyl Zone: the zone's map (with the power plant marked with the radioactivity sign) with a comparison between 1986 and 2006 levels of Caesium-137 and Strontium-90 radioactivity (in most places the radiation is several orders of magnitude lower now than it was after the disaster)


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