The Ukraine commemorated the 32nd anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which at the time contaminated part of Europe. This was an appropriate time to show an extract from a documentary about the ghost town of Pripyat, where Nature is gradually reclaiming control.
On Thursday 26th April 2018, the Ukraine commemorated the 32nd anniversary of the worst nuclear accident in history: the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. With 31 people dead and hundreds of thousands of people contaminated, the disaster “will remain an open wound in the heart of our country”, declared the Ukrainian president Petro Porochenko.
On the 26th April 1986 at 1:23am, reactor number 4 of the Chernobyl power plant, located around 100 kilometers north of the capital, Kiev, exploded during a systems test. Lasting around ten days, the nuclear fuel continued to burn and emitted radioactive substances into the atmosphere which, according to certain sources, contaminated three quarters of Europe. Around 350,000 people were evacuated from the area and a 30 km evacuation zone was defined around the power plant.
The city of Pripyat, built in 1970 and situated barely 3 km from the power plant, has become an inhabitable ghost town, as according to the authorities, the high levels of atmospheric radiation could kill a man within a week. Tourist expeditions lasting a few hours are nonetheless organised for the most curious travellers, particularly given that the spectacle offered is for the least part unique.
In fact, Nature has started to reclaim this ghost town. The local fauna and especially the flora appear to be making light work of the radiation. A short video depicts what it is like in Pripyat. Called “Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl” (below), it is an extract from an hour long report produced by CBS News in 2014.