Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant – Reactor 4 (In 2010)
Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Power Plant was the source of the nuclear disaster. As part of the tour, you’ll view the reactor from a distance. In addition, you’ll pass by the other decommissioned reactors. When I visited in 2010 there was only a concrete and lead sarcophagus covering it. In contrast, today this quick fix sarcophagus has been replaced with a permanent steel confinement shelter. As a result, less radioactivity escapes and it’s much safer to visit Chernobyl now than when I visited in 2010.
As part of the tour you will watch a video which explains in detail how the nuclear disaster started. Furthermore, the video also explains how the quick fix sarcophagus was installed as well as the effects on the surrounding area.
Soviet Era Army Vehicles
The Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union when the Chernobyl disaster occurred. For this reason, you’ll see a few abandoned Soviet era army vehicles. Beware, as these vehicles have absorbed radiation from the Chernobyl disaster.
Measuring Radiation – Geiger Counter
The tour guide will carry a Geiger counter with him throughout your Chernobyl visit. There are certain materials which absorb and retain dangerous levels of radiation. Metal objects in particular absorbed radiation released in 1986. When the guide held the Geiger counter on the Soviet army vehicles, it read 6.72 which is over 30 times the level of radiation you’d find in a modern European city such as Vienna, Austria or London, England.
Nuclear Fish in the Pripyat River
I don’t know what the fish were like before the nuclear disaster. What I do know is, today there are lots of huge fish swimming in the Pripyat river. How have these been affected by the disaster?
Overgrown City of Pripyat
Pripyat was abandoned at short notice. Inhabitants didn’t have enough time to collect their personal belongings due to the amount of radioactivity in the air. Moreover, inhabitants thought they would return one day therefore were content to leave their things. No one returned and the abandoned city of Pripyat is full of abandoned personal items. Finally, nature has retaken the city with overgrown trees and flowers all over, apparently unaffected by the radiation.
Pripyat Amusement Park
Maybe the typical picture of Chernobyl is the amusement park. Pripyat was a thriving city with many of the men working at the power plant. The city featured a decent sized amusement park with a what is now iconic ferris wheel.
Scarily, where the kids would play is now one of the most contaminated areas of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The Geiger counter read 60 times over normal levels of radiation. These bumper cars absorbed a lot of radiation.
Chernobyl Street Art
Was this street art added before or after the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster? There are a lot of people who sneak into the exclusion zone so who knows.
The Pripyat Cultural Center features a huge movie theater. This is an example of the size of the Pripyat community before the disaster.
Old Film Reel
In the Cultural Center there is old film reel abandoned on the floor. Strangely enough, if you look at the reels there is one which features the workmen building the Cultural Center itself.
Pripyat features an indoor Olympic sized swimming pool as well as a world class dive pool. Remember, the Soviet Union was a major force in the Olympic Games. Now of course, like the rest of Pripyat, it’s an abandoned building.
Imagine if your local Tesco, Walmart or Carrefour was abandoned. What would it look like?
In the school are several gas masks dispersed on the floor. In addition to this are several reading books etc. It appears that the school was abandoned in the middle of a regular school day.
Nature Lives On – Flora and Fauna
Today, you can see that flora and fauna is growing strongly again. However, due to the contamination, humans may never live in this area again. Moreover, would you eat a berry from this tree?
Day Trip to Visit Chernobyl from Kiev
When you visit Chernobyl you’ll learn a lot about the destruction man can do to this earth. In particular, man and nuclear power. This part of the world will never be inhabited again. Finally, to enter the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone you must have special permission therefore it’s important to book your tour online in advance.