[UKR] Chernobyl & Pripyat [Permission visit]

50000 people used to live here… now its a ghost town … – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
chernobyl_pripyat
History
Built in 1970, to house workers and their families employed at the Chernobyl nuclear plants, Pripyat was home to 49600 people in August 1986, when Reactor 4 in Chernobyl experienced a power spike, setting off a series of events that resulted in a fallout zone spreading over most of western Europe. The town was evacuated several days after the disaster and the city now lies derelict and abandoned, exposed to the elements. A Sarcophagos is being built (completed by 2015) to completely cover Reactor 4.
 
The Explore
Early in 2010, I saw a few articles about tours being run through the Chernobyl nuclear exclusion zone in Ukraine, and I thought it would be an awesome place to visit. As an engineer, I’ve always been interested in industrial accidents – it always pays to learn from the mistakes of others – so visiting the site became a mission. Along with 5 other photographer friends, we tagged along at the end of a tour group (the promise of a private tour turned out to be a bunch of lies L) taking photos of the reactor, abandoned fish farm and then Pripyat itself. All in, it took about 6 hours around the site to see the highlights, but urban explorers have since mapped several other locations which will make a return trip at some point highly desirable – this time without a tour group.
The Photos
Checkpoint into the “Zone”
Our tour guide Yuriy seemed impervious to radioactivity. Can’t help but wonder if he’s still alive…
Chernobyl Café
Firefighter memorial
Radioactive spider … anyone named Peter Parker on this tour?
Fish farm
The unfinished Reactor 5
Reactor 4, with a readout of 1.2  μSv/hr. For context, on the flight over we received around 4 μSv/hr.
In the red forest, the readings start to shoot up
Me outside Reactor 4.
Reactor 4 with Memorial
Pripyat. Est 1970. RIP 1986
View from the Pripyat hotel
Reactor 4
View from the Chernobyl hotel

I’m sure this was strategically placed for the tourists
Culture ministry
Auditorium

These two idiots seems ignorant to radioactivity and its effects.
Dodgems
Iconic Ferris Wheel. The fair was meant to start the day after the reactor explosion, so this was never used.
Pripyat School
Useful instructions for a school – hand grenade throwing!
School
Boxes of gas masks, never used
Sports centre
Iconic pool. This was actually still filled until 1996, 10 years after the explosion

 

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