The reality of nuclear life in Chernobyl
On April 26, 1986, Ukraine’s largest man-made disaster has changed the world and society forever. An explosion of the fourth reactor at the nuclear power plant located in Ukraine affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of people: liquidators, residents who lived on the territory, and even people in neighboring countries.
Lots of people were evacuated from villages and cities to save their health as it was extremely dangerous to stay there for a long time. As a result, the 30-km exclusion zone was created by the government: dozens of villages were buried in the ground, and Pripyat is considered a ghost town without the possibility of living there. Thus, abandoned due to the catastrophe area became an attractive destination for tourists all over the globe.
Chernobyl tours are in high demand among both Europeans and Americans, and, of course, Ukrainians. A lot of scientists, journalists, and just curious people have already walked the empty streets of the dead city to get inspiration, take impressive photos, and learn more about the tragedy. After all, the zone has lots of mystery and secrets and the most courageous people dream to reveal them. What is so unique in Chernobyl? Why is it so valuable for nuclear physicists, biologists, movie directors, writers? And why are so many books, TV series, music videos, and documentaries devoted to this topic?
The highest level of danger. After the events, the radiation background in the nearest district was very high. People were slowly irradiated without realizing it. Not surprisingly, radiation is the biggest invisible enemy for humanity. Most evacuated residents of the cities had serious health problems. But not only Ukraine has suffered, as the wind brought a radioactive cloud to Belarus.
Immediately after the explosion, there were recorded high levels of radiation. And even despite the fact that vast territory was recommended to be evacuated, no measures were taken. Many Belarusians felt the radioactive effects. The number of cases of leukemia, thyroid cancer, and a variety of cardiovascular diseases has increased sharply. Europe also felt some nuclear consequences. Some countries still have problems with growing plants and farming in some regions. 600,000 cases of cancer, diabetes, and heart issues in Europe are considered to be the most terrible consequence of the accident. Even in the USA, the number of children with congenital thyroid problems has significantly raised after 1986. The Chernobyl disaster can surely be called global.
Mutations and nuclear hybrids. There are various horror stories about Pripyat and its inhabitants — monsters with two heads or six paws. In fact, the mutations that occurred in animals in the exclusion zone are not so terrifying. Basically, they are hidden and impact only the internal organs. For example, some animals have lost their reproductive function. You can check the existence of mutants only by going on tours of Chernobyl.
Giant fish. Also, during the trip, you will have a chance to feed the fish in the cooling pond of the power plant. The size of the fish in this pond is really impressive, but it has nothing to do with a peaceful atom. The thing is that it is forbidden to catch fish, and feeding it is one of the attractions during an excursion. So, it is a reasonable explanation of why the catfish are so huge. But there are people who like stirring up interest in the zone. Therefore, on some web resources, you can easily find fake photos of inexplicably scary creatures. And you are the one who decides to believe in such fairy tales or to go on a journey and make sure that all this is fiction.
The real number of victims. In 2007, a group of Russian scientists came to the conclusion that the disaster led to the premature death of 985 thousand people for over two decades. But this figure applies only to areas very close to the zone. Scientists believe that the number of those who have been affected by the explosion is much larger. Moreover, life expectancy has notably decreased in the former USSR countries. The official number of victims is believed to be around 31 people. These are firefighters and plant employees who were at their workplaces during the blast.
Other details about Chernobyl in numbers:
· After the explosion at the NPP, the fourth nuclear reactor was completely destroyed, 97% of the radioactive nuclear fuel was released into the atmosphere.
· The first official announcement of the events at NPP for the public was made on April 28 at 21.00 after two days.
· The evacuation of Pripyat, located three kilometers from the plant, began 36 hours after the disaster.
· The average age of the residents of Pripyat at the time of the evacuation was 26.
· In addition to radioactive substances, 250 thousand tons of lead that are toxic to living organisms fell into the environment.
· 23% of the territory of Belarus was contaminated with radioactive cesium-137.
· Today, the 30-km exclusion zone has become a magnet for tourists who choose the best Chernobyl tours and get a unique travel experience.
Chernobyl tours from Kiev: how to get into the zone
If you want to visit Pripyat with beautiful Soviet architecture, abandoned buildings with stalker graffiti, and an amusement park with rusted Ferris Wheel, you need to book a trip from Kiev to Chernobyl. You have to contact the agency 10-14 days before the booking date. To cross the border of the zone, you need to have permission to enter the dangerous area and some other necessary documents. It is included in the price and it is a task for your tour operator. In order not to harm yourself while staying in Pripyat and its surroundings, read the rules of staying: what to wear and take with you, how to behave, what is not allowed to do. Using the services of Go2Chernobyl, you will get an amazing approach to the organization. They are passionate people who are in love with the exclusion zone and will share their knowledge and experience with you.