This disaster is considered to be one of the largest during the whole history of nuclear energetics. The radioactive cloud went above not only european part of USSR but also over most of the Europe and eastern part of the USA.
Nearly 30 years passed after the nuclear catastrophe in Chernobyl, and only now visitors can access it and estimate the damage that was caused once by a fatal mistake.
This disaster is considered to be one of the largest that has ever occured in the history of nuclear energetics. The radioactive cloud went above not only european part of USSR but also over most of the Europe and eastern part of the USA. Over 60% of the radioactive matter were settled down on the territory of Belarus, nearly 600,000 people were radioactively affected, more than 200,000 people had to leave their homes and evacuate from the polluted zone and a large number of disaster liquidators received life-incompatible injuries.
This horrible accident took place on the 26 of April, 1986. Because of the numerous mistakes, made both by the station personnel and the creators of the reactor, the fourth reactor unit exploded at 1:23 AM and the fire had been put out only by the 10th of May, 1986. The evacuation process started on the 27 of April and had been finished by 4:30 PM on the very same day. And on the 15th of December, 2000 the whole nuclear plant was closed forever. To prevent further spreading of radioactive matter, it was decided to create a special sarcophagus to cover the 4th reactor. It was named the “Shelter” object.
Today, after almost 30 years after this sad event, nobody officially lives in Chernobyl zone anymore, although it is almost indistinguishable from the usual landscape. But it gradually comes to life, mostly thanks to the power plant workers that are controlling the situation inside the polluted area and tourists that want to see the life of those times. Even though, recent events in Ukraine look a bit scary, Chernobyl zone still remains attractive for the tourist groups from all over the world.The tours are strictly guided, because one mistake may cause a whole bunch of problems. Upon the arrival, the tourists go through special training and sign a disclaimer warning against performing prohibited actions such as touching any objects or sitting on the ground not even mentioning about taking any items from the radioactive zone with them as a “little souvenir”. On the exit, visitors are tested for high levels of radiation and if the scanner signals about an inadmissible level of radioactivity, trained personnel locates the pollution source and cleans this person in order not to bring the radioactive particles to the outside world.
Despite such severe measures, the number of the tourists, willing to visit Chernobyl doesn’t decrease. Tourist are very confused when entering Chernobyl zone for the first time. Many of them expect to see only black, lifeless land, but instead of this they see beautiful nature, green forests, blue lakes, animals living in the area. The only signs of humans having lived here once are the man-made objects like buildings in Pripyat and Chernobyl cities, closed reactors of the nuclear power plant, giant antennas of the Duga-1 radar, etc. Most of the visitors are very eager to see by their own eyes still and empty Pripyat city, feel the life that once was in the former USSR, and imagine, even for a moment, what a high price Pripyat-inhabitants had to pay for the mistake of a few men.