Thursday, July 28, 2011

In the shadow of Chernobyl

And now for something completely different. Me and my wife just came back from our trip to Ukraine. We visited Kiev, Lviv and the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in which you can take a tour in. There has been trouble with the tours recently, with the government banning visits to the zone, but we managed to squeeze in a visit after a month of visits being banned.

The town of Chernobyl, situated inside the 30 kilometer zone is home to thousands of people under special permit from the ukrainian government, but the inside of the 10 kilometre zone is deemed too contaminated for permanent habitation. We spend about 4 hours in the exclusion zone, visited the abandoned, decaying town of Pripyat and stood close outside the destroyed reactor building. I went camera happy on the trip, the results of which you can see in the link below. Probably nothing you haven't seen before, as we were restricted to entering some public buildings only, which have been exhaustively photographed and portrayed in video games already. Still, it was a beautiful summer day and as they say, "pics or didn't happen".

Enter picture gallery

Also, I rented a radioactivity dosimeter for the trip. The distinctive rattle really gave a new level of atmosphere to the visit and this techno gadget geek was quite interested in measuring the values in the area. In this video, you can see the meter getting a hotter than normal signal close to the ground in the town of Pripyat.

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