Chernobyl in Pictures
So recently my parents came to visit and we had an amazing opportunity to go and visit the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. We learned so much about the disaster and what life was like back then. Below are some pictures of our trip.
A продукти : which is a super market.
This was sitting in the garage of one of the houses. You can kind of tell that people place certain objects like that but they are from the area. If you look among the trees you can see there are tons of items deemed unnecessary to take with them by the citizens of these abandoned towns..
I expected there to be more furniture and things like that but was told that the liquidators came and took furniture that they might have needed, as well as citizens were allowed to come back twice. Plus this village was on the outer edge of the exclusion zone and they had more warning of their evacuation than other cities.
The city of Chernobyl still has people that live there. Currently there are people who continue to work on the containment efforts. They have two options for their duration of stay. The most common is 15 days on and 15 days off. They live in dorms within the city.
These little robots were used on the roof of the reactor to try and clear debris when it got to dangerous for humans. The radiation was so bad that the machines would eventually malfunction and another would have to be used.
The look shiny and new because the help contain their ration they are continually repainted.
Chernobyl 2 (Secret Military base)
This bus stop is right off the turn for the road to the military base. The cover story for the base was that it was a children's summer camp. This fake bus stop was build to help sell that narrative. If curious people found themselves on the road they would see the bus station and believe the rouse. However if they continued to be curious, and kept driving there was a guard station further down the road that had shoot on sight orders.
Duga 1 was a radar system with the primary job of being able to detect ballistic missiles most primary from the United States considering this was still cold war times.
The structure is gigantic. Pictures in no way do justice to the scale of this radar. It is unfathomable to me that no one knew about this. Those in the USSR who asked about it and other countries who saw images on satellites were told it was to help the Soviet tv stations.
The secret of Duga 1 and the military base that surrounded it were obviously exposed once the reactor melted down.
The School with the Creepy Dolls
This little school was full of radioactive hot spots. This town was primarily built of thick wood which soaked up tons of radiation and therefore basically nothing of the town remains at all. During containment efforts they buried all the structures underground. A lot of times, due to the haste of the clean up they were buried unsafely.
Reactor 4 melted down at 1:23am on the morning of April 26 1986. The technicians inside had previously disabled all safety mechanisms and warning systems to conduct a test. They began designs for the original sarcophagus just 23 days after the disaster and it was installed in November of that year. However the sarcophagus was failing and was replaced in November of 2016. The new structure was built on a lot right next to the reactor and upon completion was slid over the existing covering to protect the workers building it.
Palace of Culture
Palace of Culture
Turnstiles at the stadium
The stands at the stadium
The citizens of the city were kept in the dark for the most part. They knew an "accident" had occurred at the reactor but were not told much else.
36 hours after the accident they began evacuating the citizens. The claim is that they evacuated the whole city in 2 hours. From announcement to last bus. At the time of the disaster there were almost 50,000 residents in the city.
It was such an interesting excursion and I learned so much about it. I would recommend checking out this discovery channel documentary which provides a lot of insight into the disaster.
Probably the weirdest part of the day was as we were leaving the city they played the stock video of the cities founding and that was really eerie. It wasn't like the city had a few trees, there were no trees in the city. You can watch a similar video here