Monday, October 15, 2012

Chernobyl + Prypiat, Ukraine

Monument to all of the towns, villages and cities evacuated after the Chernobyl disaster
The sign for the city of Prypiat

The 'iconic' amusement park of Prypiat

Buses like this one were used to evacuate the nearly 500,000 people of Prypiat (over 24 hours after the accident)
Matt in front of reactor no.4 (with it's enclosing 'sarcophagus') holding a radiation dosimeter (it reads a mear 2.9µSv/h,  normal levels are around 0.15
Our guide kicked around the dirt to show us the reality. The soil read 32.9µSv/h!
The trip out to the Chernobyl exclusion zone was very fascinating, and informative. Our guide was careful to keep us from getting arrested for walking to or photographing the wrong places. He was also frank in explanations of what caused the meltdown, how the government handled it, and how the (upwards of 600,000) "liquidators" involved in the clean up are being treated today.

The enclosing sarcophagus over reactor number 4 at the Chernobyl site was meant only to last 20-30 years. It's been over 20. They are working on an ambitious new containment project but that was originally slated to be finished by 2008. Then it was 2012. The new timeline says completion by 2015. We'll see. There is still a huge threat under there, they better get it done soon.

- Matt