Chernobyl : Mistakes Of The Few, Paid By The Many

Chernobyl is forever etched in history as one of the worst nuclear disaster that happened on Earth. On the fateful day of April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Station in Ukraine exploded and released extremely dangerous amounts of radioactive materials in the atmosphere. The catastrophe was the result of a flawed reactor design managed by inadequately trained plant operators. The explosion killed approximately 30 people and indirectly killed several other thousands due to cancers and other illnesses caused by radiation exposure.

GSuite
Pripyat is the city closest to the No. 4 reactor that exploded; only about three kilometres from the plant. It was founded in 1970 and has a population of around 49,000. Pripyat housed many of Chernobyl’s workers. It was bustling city complete with facilities such as schools, hospitals, factories, railway stations, phone lines, malls, cafes, a cinema, gyms and sports stadium. It was totally evacuated and excluded from masses after the explosion. It will be uninhabitable for the next thousand of years.

Today, Pripyat is an empty shell and a haunting reminder of what once has been a vibrant city that champions man’s nuclear ambitions. The remains of the city were left undisturbed and frozen in time. Personal belongings, communist propaganda, children’s toys, books and pictures lay abandoned. The area 30 kilometres (19 miles) in all directions from the Chernobyl plant is uninhabited except for a very few who refused to leave. It is called the ‘zone of alienation’.

After almost three decades of abandonment, Pripyat and its surrounding areas are being swallowed up by the forest and wildlife. It is as if Nature is taking back what belongs to her.

LEARN MORE  Finland and Sweden’s desire to join Nato shows Putin has permanently redrawn the map of Europe
This file picture taken in the '90s shows an aerial view of Pripyat. The once bustling city is now being slowly reclaimed by the surrounding forest. Photograph : Daily Mail
This file picture taken in the ’90s shows an aerial view of Pripyat. The once bustling city is now being slowly reclaimed by the surrounding forest.
Photograph : Yann Arthus-Bertrand  / Corbis
Another aerial view showing the city of Pripyat, top right, and the Chernobyl power plant, centre, surrounded by the forest. Photograph : Daily Mail
Another aerial view showing the city of Pripyat, top right, and the Chernobyl power plant, centre, surrounded by the forest.
Photograph : Alex Cheban
Housing estate in town of Pripyat, Kiev Region. Pripyat housed many of the workers and scientists at the nuclear plant. Photograph : RIA Novosti
Housing estate in town of Pripyat, Kiev Region. Pripyat housed many of the workers and scientists at the nuclear plant.
Photograph : RIA Novosti
A view of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant's fourth reactor in this May 1986 file photo. Photograph : Reuters
A view of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant’s fourth reactor in this May 1986 file photo.
Photograph : Reuters
The building of the sarcophagus around the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after its explosion is seen in this 1986 file photo. Photograph : Reuters
The building of the sarcophagus around the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after its explosion is seen in this 1986 file photo.
Photograph : Reuters
The inside of the tomb which encases Chernobyl's unit 4 reactor which exploded, leaking vast amounts of radiation. Photograph : Daily Mail
The inside of the tomb which encases Chernobyl’s unit 4 reactor which exploded, leaking vast amounts of radiation.
Photograph : Daily Mail
Pripyat today, a concrete road-sign that reads 'Pripyat'. Photograph : Michael Day / Barcroft USA
Pripyat today, a concrete road-sign that reads ‘Pripyat’.
Photograph : Michael Day / Barcroft USA
The former main square of the city. Photograph : Michael Day / Barcroft USA
The former main square of the city.
Photograph : Michael Day / Barcroft USA
A pamphlet left among the rubble. Photograph : Atlas Obscura
A pamphlet left among the rubble.
Photograph : Atlas Obscura
A radiation sign along the road near Pripyat warns of the menace. The tranquility of the sight on an evening of heavy snowfall belies the lingering danger looming in the peaceful winter landscape. [Near Pripyat, Ukraine 2011] Photograph : Gerd Ludwig / INSTITUTE
A radiation sign along the road near Pripyat warns of the menace. The tranquility of the sight on an evening of heavy snowfall belies the lingering danger looming in the peaceful winter landscape. [Near Pripyat, Ukraine 2011]
Photograph : Gerd Ludwig / INSTITUTE
A ghost town. A view of Pripyat, a town built to house employees at the plant, as seen on March 22, 2011. Photograph : Helmut Fohringer / EPA
A ghost town. A view of Pripyat, a town built to house employees at the plant, as seen on March 22, 2011.
Photograph : Helmut Fohringer / EPA
An inside view of the lecture hall at the Soviet-era Palace of Culture. Photograph : Michael Day / Barcroft USA
An inside view of the lecture hall at the Soviet-era Palace of Culture.
Photograph : Michael Day / Barcroft USA
An abandoned ferris wheel and a merry go round at the Soviet Palace of Culture. Photograph : Michael Day / Barcroft USA
An abandoned ferris wheel and a merry go round at the Soviet Palace of Culture.
Photograph : Michael Day / Barcroft USA
Another view of the ferris wheel. Photograph : Atlas Obscura
Another view of the ferris wheel.
Photograph : Atlas Obscura
The interior of a former school, as seen on April 20, 2011. Photograph : Sergey Dolzhenko / EPA
The interior of a former school, as seen on April 20, 2011.
Photograph : Sergey Dolzhenko / EPA
Rusted and damaged amusement-park rides in Pripyat, photographed on March 29, 2011. Photograph : MAXPPP / Zuma Press
Rusted and damaged amusement-park rides in Pripyat, photographed on March 29, 2011.
Photograph : MAXPPP / Zuma Press
Cell doors of a former police station in Pripyat stand open on April 20, 2011. Photograph : Sergey Dolzhenko / EPA
Cell doors of a former police station in Pripyat stand open on April 20, 2011.
Photograph : Sergey Dolzhenko / EPA
On April 26, 1986, operators in this control room of reactor number 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant committed a fatal series of errors during a safety test, triggering a reactor meltdown that resulted in the world's largest nuclear accident to date. [Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine 2011] Photograph : Gerd Ludwig / INSTITUTE
On April 26, 1986, operators in this control room of reactor number 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant committed a fatal series of errors during a safety test, triggering a reactor meltdown that resulted in the world’s largest nuclear accident to date. [Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine 2011]Photograph : Gerd Ludwig / INSTITUTE
A haunting reminder of the worst nuclear catastrophe in history, hundreds of gas masks litter the floor inside an abandoned building in Pripyat nearly 30 years on. Photograph : Ryan Field / Caters News
A haunting reminder of the worst nuclear catastrophe in history, hundreds of gas masks litter the floor inside an abandoned building in Pripyat nearly 30 years on.
Photograph : Ryan Field / Caters News
Not a man or bird in site -- after nearly 30 years, Pripyat in Ukraine is still devastated and deserted. The city is famous for the Chernobyl disaster that shook the world on April 6, 1986. Photograph : Ryan Field / Caters News
Not a man or bird in site — after nearly 30 years, Pripyat in Ukraine is still devastated and deserted. The city is famous for the Chernobyl disaster that shook the world on April 6, 1986.
Photograph : Ryan Field / Caters News
A classroom is a shell of its former self -- desks and chairs are covered in dust and fallen plasterwork nearly 30 years after the deadly nuclear disaster. Photograph : Ryan Field / Caters News
A classroom is a shell of its former self — desks and chairs are covered in dust and fallen plasterwork nearly 30 years after the deadly nuclear disaster.
Photograph : Ryan Field / Caters News
A botched routine safety test drove a quarter of a million people permanently out of their homes. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster remains the world's worst nuclear disaster where radioactive fallout spread over tens of thousands of square miles on April 6, 1986. Photograph : Ryan Field / Caters News
A botched routine safety test drove a quarter of a million people permanently out of their homes. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster remains the world’s worst nuclear disaster where radioactive fallout spread over tens of thousands of square miles on April 26, 1986.
Photograph : Ryan Field / Caters News
Kharytina Desha, 92, is one of the few elderly people who have returned to their village homes inside the Exclusion Zone. Although surrounded by devastation and isolation, she prefers to die on her own soil. [Teremtsy, Ukraine, 2011] Photograph : Gerd Ludwig / INSTITUTE
Kharytina Desha, 92, is one of the few elderly people who have returned to their village homes inside the Exclusion Zone. Although surrounded by devastation and isolation, she prefers to die on her own soil. [Teremtsy, Ukraine, 2011]Photograph : Gerd Ludwig / INSTITUTE
A hotel room with a newspaper from the day before the accident Photograph : Michael Day / Barcroft USA
A hotel room with a newspaper from the day before the accident
Photograph : Michael Day / Barcroft USA
A Soviet-era memorial near the Number 4 reactor Photograph : Michael Day / Barcroft USA
A Soviet-era memorial near the Number 4 reactor
Photograph : Michael Day / Barcroft USA
Severely physically and mentally handicapped, 5-year-old Igor was given up by his parents and now lives at a children's mental asylum. It is one of several such facilities in rural southern Belarus receiving support from Chernobyl Children International. [Vesnova, Belarus, 2005] Photograph : Gerd Ludwig / INSTITUTE
Severely physically and mentally handicapped, 5-year-old Igor was given up by his parents and now lives at a children’s mental asylum. It is one of several such facilities in rural southern Belarus receiving support from Chernobyl Children International. [Vesnova, Belarus, 2005]Photograph : Gerd Ludwig / INSTITUTE
Workers need to constantly help protect against any possible future radiation leaks. Photograph : Daily Mail
Workers need to constantly help protect against any possible future radiation leaks.
Photograph : AP
Workers wearing plastic suits and respirators for protection pause briefly on their way to drill holes for support rods inside the shaky concrete sarcophagus, a structure hastily built after the explosion to isolate the radioactive rubble of Reactor number 4. [Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine 2005] Photograph : Gerd Ludwig / INSTITUTE
Workers wearing plastic suits and respirators for protection pause briefly on their way to drill holes for support rods inside the shaky concrete sarcophagus, a structure hastily built after the explosion to isolate the radioactive rubble of Reactor number 4. [Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine 2005]Photograph : Gerd Ludwig / INSTITUTE
From the rooftops of the nearby city of Pripyat, the first section of the New Safe Confinement can be seen. The New Safe Confinement, a 29,000 ton metal arc, 105 meters high and 257 meters wide, will eventually slide over the existing sarcophagus to allow deconstruction of the ailing shelter. [Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine, 2013] Photograph : Gerd Ludwig/INSTITUTE
From the rooftops of the nearby city of Pripyat, the first section of the New Safe Confinement can be seen. The New Safe Confinement, a 29,000 ton metal arc, 105 meters high and 257 meters wide, will eventually slide over the existing sarcophagus to allow deconstruction of the ailing shelter. [Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine, 2013]Photograph : Gerd Ludwig/INSTITUTE
 

 

Total
5
Shares
Previous Article

Data And Stories Beneath Citi Bikes That Never Sleep

Next Article

Nepal Quake Was A Nightmare Waiting To Happen

Related Posts
Total
5
Share