Pripyat and Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine (officially Ukrainian SSR). An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere, which spread over much of Western USSR and Europe. It is considered the worst nuclear power plant accident in history, and is one of only two classified as a level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale (the other being the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster). 

The Exclusion Zone was established soon after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, in order to evacuate the local population and to prevent people from entering the heavily contaminated territory. The area adjoining the site of the disaster was originally divided into 4 concentric zones. The most contaminated zone had a radius of 30 km (19 mi) from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The border of the zone was later adjusted to better parallel the locations of highest contamination. 

Historically and geographically, the zone is a heartland of the Polesie region — the birthplace of East Slavs. This predominantly rural woodland area was once home to 120,000 people, living in 90 communities (including the cities of Chernobyl and Pripyat), but is now mostly uninhabited. All settlements remain designated on geographic maps but marked as nezhyl. (нежил.) - "uninhabited".

Very unique and hard to explain experience - i think Andrei Tarkovsky did excelent job with his Stalker, trying to explain the structure of the Zone. Big thank you to Strefa Zero and 28dayslater forum for organizing it for us.

train to the Zone, we've been travelling with the workers only, train itself was going through Belarusian border, at the end of our trip we had to present our passport, on the border control to the Zone:

Sarcophagus (Reactor no. 4), this is where it all happened. Radiation around the reactor is still hitting 6 and the old structure begin to crumble, that's why there is a new conctruction being build above the old one to protect it and also repair it. We had only few minutes allowed here with no bending to the ground or putting our tripods on it.

radioactive fields.

Burakivka Vehicle Graveyard this is where all (not just vehicles) short term radioactive waste is being stored, in the big barrow's made of clay, some of them, made year's ago are looking like little hills, only yellow sign indicates what's is stored inside. Radiation was hitting 5 on here, we had only 10 minutes to take our shots.

logging out of the Zone. After each visit we had to make this checks to make sure we're alright.

Town of Pripyat

Pripyat was founded in 1970 to house workers for the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. It was officially proclaimed a city in 1979 but was abandoned in 1986 following the Chernobyl disaster. It was the ninth nuclear city ("атомоград" (atomograd) in Russian, literally "atom city") in the Soviet Union at the time and its population was around 50,000 before the accident. The annual rate of natural increase for the city's population was estimated at around 800 persons, plus over 500 newcomers from all corners of the Soviet Union each year.

looking down from Fujiyama bis:

Hospital no. 126

waiting rooms

operating room

infant ward

Music School

view from Hotel 'Polesie' overlooking Palace of Culture 'Energetik'

Palace of  Culture 'Energetik', stage construction.

Propaganda Centre.

Kindergatren 'Golden Key'

Swimming Pool 'Lazurny'

gas masks in School no. 3

DNA shot in classroom of School no. 5 (sadly being all stripped down now)

1 comment:

  1. Amazing photos, I cant believe I have only just found your blog its so good Dawid!