power-generating station is located in Pripyat, Ukraine, north of . There was an explosion and subsequent
fire in one of the units, specifically Unit 4. The incident, which was a
combination of design issues and operator errors, occurred during a system
test. As a result of the incident a large quantity of radioactive contamination
was released, spreading over much of Kiev Russia
Approximately 350,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes and essentially their lives as a containment zone was set up around the plant. The radius of the zone measured 19 miles.
is still highly radioactive. The sarcophagus – cement containment – that covers
Unit 4 is deteriorating and is in the process of being covered with a new steel
arch containment to avoid another catastrophe. The area remains closed and
controlled to this day. The Ukrainian government however does permit escorted
The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone encompasses 1,660 square miles and is guarded by thousands of Ukrainian guards. The plant sits bare. Although it no longer produces electricity, several thousand are still employed there as part of the clean up crews or the security. Today that zone has ironically become one of the largest wildlife preserves in
Nearby towns were evacuated and are now abandoned. Many evacuees could simply not bear to live their homes, their lives and their way of living. They chose to resettle nearby. Thousands still live in land left contaminated by the radiation from
. Life simply goes on there. Chernobyl
As much as life does go on, it also froze in place. Residents of Pripyat expected to be able to return home in a few days. Looters have long since vandalized and stole prized personal possessions of many. However many other items sit frozen in time covered dust and filth. Dolls sit on windowsills in kindergarten classrooms long absent of the sound of laughing children. Clothes lie thrown about in the houses. The foliage has claimed the building ruins, scaling walls and giving vibrant color to the area once again.