Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

i’ve been hearing a lot about the chernobyl exclusion zone from the chernobyl series recently and someone who worked on it asked me for some pics. it was nice to dig them up and take a look since i completely forgot to post them anywhere.

the pics were all taken on my phone. i did not have my decent camera with me because i was headed to the republic of kazantip and assumed i would be too drunk to properly look after my camera there.

this is my 3rd official blog post and 2 of these have been about nuclear power plants, so you can sense a theme for me. chernobyl really fascinated me growing up – i think it was the first true sense in the “western world” that the soviet union was on it’s last legs and was for me represents the initial point in time when the cold war started to end.

Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Statue of Lenin
a statue of lenin still sits near the entrance of the chernobyl exclusion zone.

we went in 2013 on the way to the republic of kazantip which was probably the greatest temporary republic to ever exist. we definitely were not going to miss chernobyl on the way due to it’s proximity to kiev. there were not a lot of tours at this time, but i’m assuming it is getting quite popular now. at the time, there were only 1 or 2 companies offering trips so it was quite a sombre tour.

Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Memorial
memorial commemorating the lost villages of the disaster.

we were assured that due to the cleanup and the amount of time we would be there that we would not be affected. we were scanned for radiation levels on the way in and out to ensure we didn’t take on anything unexpected.

after a quick bus trip from kiev, we were given our geiger counters to monitor the radiation levels while we were wandering around. it’s leveled off considerably over the past few decades, but there are still places which exceed the recommended amount for the human body. some people in our group still found objects or areas that sent the reader off the charts.

Chernobyl Exclusion Zone - Pripyat Sign

mostly abandoned since 1986, it really was a step back into a time capsule of life in 1980’s soviet union. we were able to enter a variety of buildings – including a school that still had notebooks and toys lying around even after 30 years. everything was left in situ like some post-apocalyptic sci-fi film.

Chernobyl Exclusion Zone School

it is eerily quiet as there is none of the usual background noise you hear in day to day life. it is tragic and moving in it’s silence. ultimately, it is a memorial to all the people who died from the disaster and should be respected as such.

Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Central Pripyat
central pripyat

one of the more famous sights are the rusting rides of the small abandoned amusement park. as you can see, it was ridiculously sunny and lush the day we were there. although we managed to poison the ground, the earth is managing to quickly take back what we tried to destroy.

Amusement Park
Amusement Park
amusement park

being here really put a human face on what was lost. and how much damage we did to the area. it is estimated that it will take 24,000 years for the radiation to disappear.

Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Department Store
remnants of the soviet past can be found in many of the buildings.
Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Firefighters Memorial
monument to the chernobyl liquidators.
a firefighters memorial.
“To Those Who Saved the World”

and finally the remains of the reactor itself.
reactor number 4 of the chernobyl nuclear power plant.

Chernobyl Exclusion Zone - Reactor Number 4
reactor number 4
Chernobyl Exclusion Zone - Reactor Number 4
the construction of the new shelter or sarcophagus to contain the radiation was in the process of being built at this time.
Chernobyl Exclusion Zone - Reactor Number 4
Chernobyl Exclusion Zone - Reactor Number 4

For urbex or abandoned explorations, please see my Jonestown and Abandoned Nuclear Power Plant blogs.

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