Early on the morning of April 26th, 1986, one of the worst disasters in human history occurred when a power surge caused a series of explosions at Reactor 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The resulting nuclear plumb spread radiation across much of Europe and the western USSR and all settlements within a 30KM radius of the plant were evacuated. Most of these settlements have since fallen to ruin and been overtaken by the forest.
While parts of the exclusion zone are still highly radioactive, the Ukrainian government has begun to allow visitors to enter for limited periods of time. In order to be allowed into the zone, visitors need to make arrangements through an intermediary 10-14 days in advance and must be accompanied by a guide/caretaker at all times. In order to be allowed out of the zone, visitors must pass through two radiation checkpoints.
The photos in this album were taken around Chernobyl City (which is 18 KM from the plant and still houses workers for limited stretches of time), and at the power plant itself. It includes photos of Reactor 4, which has been covered by a rapidly deteriorating concrete sarcophagus, and of the new sarcophagus, which is being built as a replacement. Tomorrow I’ll post photos taken in the ruins of Pripyat City, the former home of the power plant’s workers.