Chernobyl

I may be a champion of the cause of abandoned urban spaces but Chernobyl is an abandoned city! One day it will be hospitable again and you have to wonder what if anything us humans have learned from this disaster, like why do we mess with stuff that can bring us all down so quickly and without mercy?

Here are some telling images from Alexandre Vikulov.

“In matters nuclear one thing is certain: there is no protection in an iron curtain.” A letter in The Times May 3rd, 1986.

On the 26th of April 1986 shortly after midnight, to be precise, at 1:23 GMT, there occurred near the Ukrainian town of Chornobyl a tremendous explosion at a huge nuclear power plant, followed by a gradual meltdown of the reactor No. 4.

Chornobyl is situated 80 miles north-west of Kiev, the ancient capital of Ukraine and the Soviet Union’s third largest city.

It was by far the worst nuclear reactor accident ever, which immediately sent a radioactive cloud across neighbouring Byelorussia, Poland and the Baltic Republics towards Scandinavia.

Within days, borne by shifting winds, radioactive mists wafted beyond Soviet borders and spread across most of Europe causing anxiety, apprehension and fear.

The most badly affected were the Republics of Ukraine and Byelorussia. They suffered large scale involuntary irradiation, due to extensive secrecy, and great economic damage. Furthermore the contaminated air mass passed over large areas of Poland and also over parts of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia and a number of West European countries.

Till now the land is abandoned, thousands of houses, thousands acres of the land, everything is now stays almost the same as it was 20 years ago.

Nowadays there guided tours are being conducted to this area. These photos are made by Alexandr Vikulov, pikul2001@mail.ru while participating in such a trip.

Taken from here.

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6 responses to “Chernobyl

  1. neath, it’s interesting how you never hear about Chernobyl anymore. And look how devastated it is. These are moving photographs. And amid all the emptiness, and across all the abandoned spaces, we all still manage to somehow connect. I’m thankful for that today.

  2. Yes, the really fascinating thing about Chernobyl for me is that it is not like a bombed city from World War Two or some more recent conflict. It is a nuclear explosion and the place actually is aging naturally. Vandalism and material scrappers will egg it along, but it is a relatively well preserved place, devastated by an almost invisible force.

    It might be strange to say, but this catastrophe is so abstract, so thoroughly cold and brutal, that it is not hard to find the human elements at work here almost in absentia. The horror and fears felt here resonate with us, it is a mind numbing thing comparable only to the network of Nazi death camps in it’s horrific scale .

  3. Agree with your thoughts on this Neath, the spooky horror of it all. Saw an interesting documentry by a British journalist who visited the ‘dead zone’, including the nuclear plant! Vegetation grows happily and old folk have returned to live and eat their vegetables from the soil. More studies on the aftermath of this accident are needed.

    Matt
    http://www.environmentsolutions.co.uk

  4. It is unfortunate that Chernobyl has become a non-issue except each year on the accident’s anniversary. Several days ago, the UN General Assembly dealt with a resolution shifting the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) emphasis on Chernobyl assistance efforts from emergency and disaster relief to rehabilitation and sustainable development. I have written about this issue on my blog, Chernobyl And Eastern Europe

    I personally visited the Chernobyl area for two days in June 2006 with a friend and former resident of Pripyat. We toured the Chernobyl Plant (including the Reactor 4 control room), several of the abandoned villages, and Pripyat. I have posted a photo journal of my trip at:

    My Journey to Chernobyl: 20 Years After the Disaster

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