"Chernobyl - tour." Chernobyl Tip by smirnofforiginal

Chernobyl, Kiev: 8 reviews and 27 photos

 
 

On Saturday 26 April 1986 at 1:23am a level 7 nuclear disaster (on the International Nuclear Event Scale) occured at the V.I. Lenin Memorial Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station near the town of Pripyat, Chernobyl. Until the recent Fukushima it was the only disaster at this level but it is still considered to be the greatest/worst disaster of this kind ever.
The battle to contain the contamination and avert further disaster involved over 500,000 workers and cost an estimated 18 billion ruble. It was 2 days before the town of Pripyat was evacuated, further to a 20 second announcement on the television!
31 deaths are directly attributed to the accident, all reactor staff and emergency workers.
As of 2008 there 64 confirmed deaths from radiation.The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests this figure could reach 4,000 (not including military clean-up worker casualties).
A 2006 report predicted 30,000 to 60,000 cancer deaths as a result of Chernobyl fallout. Greenpeace however puts this figure at 200,000 or more.
A Russian publication concludes that 985,000 premature cancer deaths occurred worldwide between 1986 and 2004 as a result of radioactive contamination from Chernobyl.
From 1986 to 2000, 350,400 people were evacuated and resettled from the most severely contaminated areas of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine.

The world you see inside Chernobyl is surreal and unnervingly unnatural.
When the disaster first happened one of the first towns inside Chernobyl was raised to the ground in the hope that it would help radiation levels. It made zero difference and so all other towns and villages were left to slowly decay and be reclaimned by the trees...
Untouched and unused for 25 years the buildings are delapidated and sad. There are a million stories within all the different walls that make up the ghostly, empty, forgotten about buildings... there is a disturbing beauty in the ruins....
A few artists have visited with their paints and have left stark, poignant (visual) reminders which adds to the eerie strangeness of the place.

Walking about - all is silent - more than silent... a heavy silence that cannot be penetrated, only disturbed for a brief moment by t ound of your own fotstep on the shattered glass and smashed-up tiles that give way under your feet... there is a stillness in which a multitude of secrets hang - this is no place for people any more but the flora and fauna are doing marvelously well!

Actually, within the Exclusion Zone there are about 3,000 residents! 50 of them are tolerated illegal residents - old people who have returned having failed to exist elsewhere as a refugee. The rest are personell - mostly military workers but there are "businesses" that operate/run within Chernobyl.

The level(s) of radiation differ hugely. In places the tarmac can have a lower level than that which is found naturally in Kiev. The moss that is pushing itself, like a flourescent green sponge through it can be 40 times higher than what is acceptable (but still not high enough to set of the alarms on the geiger counters - that happened inside the bus when the wind suddenly changed direction). It is not just to do with the level of radiation but the amount you absorb in a specific period of time - thus only being allowed around the reactor for 5 minutes (where it is extremely high) and having 30+ minutes to wander around Pripyat.

You can hire a geiger counter to keep with you throughout the tour. I did not bother and did not feel I had missed out. My guide left me to explore independently. The advice being to not touch green. Stay on tarmac. Enjoy view from hotel roof. The bus did start to drive away without all passengers so my advice is to try to stick to the tie limit you are given and make sure your presence within the tour is known! It is not aplace I would recommend being stranded in!!!

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 6, 2011
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smirnofforiginal

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