Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Pictures – 25 Years After

Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Pictures - 25 Years After

On 26th April 1986, Chernobyl Nuclear Plant, located near the town of Prypiat suffered from a nuclear accident during a systems test. It is considered the worst nuclear power plant accident in history, and is one of only two classified as a level 7 events on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

During the evening shift at the plant, the engineers planned a system test procedure intended to determine how much power was needed to keep the reactor operating during a blackout. Power levels surged to dangerous levels and the reactor began to over heat.

Two explosions occurred at the plant, which caused the reactor’s dome-shaped roof to be blown off and the contents to erupt outwards. As air was sucked in to the shattered reactor, it ignited flammable carbon monoxide gas causing a reactor fire which burned for nine whole days and large amounts of radioactive debris escaped into the atmosphere which spread over much of Western USSR and into Europe. The disaster released at least 100 times more radiation than the atom bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Following the explosion the Ukrainian government did not immediately start to evacuate. Prypiat, the town closest to the reactor is only 3 km away and was home to 49,000 residents. No one was made aware of the disaster. Initially, everyone was told that radiation level was minimal and that they were safe. People went on living normal lives, kid’s playing out in the radioactive dust, unaware of any danger. It was not until the radiation levels set off alarms at Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant in Sweden which was over one thousand kilometres from the Chernobyl Plant, did the Ukrainian government admit there was a disaster.

The evacuation began and during the following weeks and months 49,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Prypiat and around the affected areas. In total about 200,0000 people are considered to have been evacuated as a result of the incident. Many of the people were told the evacuation would last only 3 days, and left all their personal belongings which are still there to this day. The people who were evacuated were eventually re-settled in existing communities or new communities built especially for evacuees.

237 people, mainly workers and fire fighters, suffered from acute radiation sickness after the blast, and it is understood to have directly led to the death of 31 reactor operating staff, emergency responders and firemen within three months of the incident. The official death toll has been disputed, and long-term effects such as cancer and deformities are still being accounted for.

An area extending to about 19 miles from the plant is known as the “zone of alienation.” This is mainly abandoned, apart from a few people who have refused to leave. Abandoned cars, buildings and homes lay empty, an empty fun fair untouched, which was due to open a few days after the disaster.

25 years on, Pripyat is just like looking at a freeze-frame of 1980s Soviet life. The town is open for tourism, the decades of neglect have resulted in a hazardous environment, including uncovered manholes in the middle of the barely-recognizable streets, open elevator shafts, flooded basements, decayed wooden floors, collapsed roofs, large amounts of broken glass, and quite possibly asbestos. Looters have stolen everything from the town that would have been of any value. Propaganda posters and writings on the wall remain, paint is peeling from the buildings and trees and plants are reclaiming the land.

Despite the contamination of the area, the location has had a dramatic revival of its wildlife, especially in ‘The Red Forrest’, named because of the gingerly red colour the forest turned due to the high levels of radiation. As humans were evacuated, animals moved in. Wild horse, boar and wolf populations are thriving, while lynx have returned to the area and birds have nested in the reactor building. The wildlife seems quite comfortable reclaiming the abandoned town. The nature feels good without humans, even though they left one of the world’s worst disaster after themselves.

The following photos were taken 25 years on in the town Pripyat:

82 thoughts on “Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Pictures – 25 Years After”

        1. They didn’t build a shit reactor, in fact it was a leading model of its time, the incident at Chernobyl wasn’t down to the reactor itself.
          A sudden and unexpected power surge totaled the system, a shut down was attempted but it continued to peak and the rising pressure blew the reactor shielding. With the graphite moderators exposed to the atmosphere, they ignited and the smoke itself scattered the radiation into the atmosphere.

          It wasn’t an issue with the reactor, the power surge was the cause, now all modern systems have rigorously tested safety systems that force a surge to divert away from a reactor’s channel.
          Nuclear power is still incredibly safe, there have only been three cases and none have been down to the reactors themselves. Chernobyl was the power surge, Three Mile Island had an issue with a valve that released coolant and the Fukishima plant in Japan was caused by the 2011 Earthquake.

  1. Anybody watch that really sucky movie Chernobyl diaries? That movie had so much potential but it just sucked so bad. Anyways there’s this place in Taiwan that’s very similar to priyapet. It’s located in the Sanzhi district in New Taipei Taiwan it was suppose to be a large resort with futuristic style homes which look like UFOs, but for some reason the project was abandoned and now the resort is a ghost town, alot of people think its haunted because so many workers died in freak accident during the time it was being built. Haunted or not the place is very freaky.

    1. @pale I did see that movie. Haha it did suck! Coulda been really badass. But the craziest part is that I went to see that movie with this girl I met. She invited me to her house afterward to “hangout” and then randomly sucked my jimmy for fun but got pissed when I wouldn’t intercourse her.
      I know, odd story. But that movie brings back memories. Haha.

    2. I was just going to say how bad i wanted to see that while it was still in the theater but never got a chance to. Was going to get it on the redbox but haven’t seen it yet. Was it really that bad? It sounded so good and I’m a sucker for those kinda movies!

    3. Only thing I remember about that movie was the idiot that got his leg messed up (Found him annoying) and Ingrid Bols? Berdal.

      Ingrid Bols? Berdal.. I don’t know what it is. The eyes, I think. Just a beautiful woman. Really, really enjoyed her in Cold Prey.

  2. Now if the Russkie’s had a little creativity they would bull doze the land and re-occupy it with new settlers without informing them of it legacy. Hey if the animals and birds are living there and they have no deformities or whatever then its probably safe for humans. Run some test’s see what you get. Worst that can happen a few thousand people die horribly…

  3. Despite all the radiation, without humans, the area around Chernobyl has flourished with life. Russia is considering making Chernobyl into a nature reserve. The wildlife in Chernobyl is actually quite amazing.

    1. It is very amazing. PBS did a special on Chernobyl’s Wolves, Interesting. and then I look at Japan. All the media blackouts about Fukashima & they seriously want to move backin ASAP. I’ve lost a lot of respect for Japan. Check out Fukashima Diary blog, it’s so crazy what the Japanese are doing.

  4. Part of the roof was reported today to have fallen in, about 50 metres from the containment sarcophagus, over the turbine room 4 I think it was.

    Anyway, it didn’t fuck up the arched containment thingie they are building, and supposedly there’s been no radiation spike, but honestly, with how much radiation is spewing from Fukushima Daiichi, do you really think it fucking matters if it spiked or not? It couldn’t be much more than Daiichi puts out every couple of hours or so. (in my laymen’s opinion)

  5. I wonder what Mark is having to do to survive in Asia? Running around like Rambo or charming the locals out of food and internets. LOL! He may starving but at least he still has his sense of humor. That and five dollars will get you a cup of coffee.

  6. This disaster has been blown out of proportion. The death toll is around 50 people.
    Sure, a lot of them got irradiated, some died decades later from cancer, but those deaths were never been proven to be caused by Chernobyl.

      1. Actually I’m sure we could find a crew out of BG members.
        Then we could stay after and set up the first BG community. With luck our women would start giving birth to two headed frog babies and we would become a mutant colony and take over the world, (evil laugh).

  7. S.T.A.L.K.E.R, the whole series, those pictures sum it up.

    I went on a tour around Pripyat last year, it was so damn eerie but at the same time utterly fascinating, can’t wait to go again.

    Its so interesting to see what happens in the absence of humans, a terrible disaster, yes, but a most interesting one. *shrug*

      1. It was bizarre, utterly and inexplicably ‘odd’. But at the same time its also somewhat humbling, to see what mother nature does when we aren’t around, as cheesy as it sounds. But, an incredible experience with very, very mixed feelings on my part.

    1. No doubt. You ought to drive down Broadway in Gary, Indiana…no nuclear meltdown there, but, because it’s been a Negro-majority city for decades, it looks 10 times worse than Chernobyl and is probably 100 times worse for your health.

      1. You should see some neighbourhoods in Toronto.

        Picture say… Baltimore.

        Funny thing is – It’s the same kind of people in Gary; Indiana that are in Detroit; Michigan, that are in Baltimore; Maryland, that are in Flint; Michigan that are in Toronto; Ontario, that are in London; England.

        1. Sad thing is, my grandmother used to tell me how, when she and my great-aunts and uncles wanted to go out for a pleasant day of shopping and whatnot (back in the ’30s and ’40s), they’d all jump on the bus and go to Gary. I could never wrap my mind around that ’cause Gary has looked like a third-world shithole ever since I can remember…then, sure enough, a local cable channel broadcast some old parade footage of Gary one day, and it looked like just as pleasant and inviting a city as one might wish to visit. When they had parades back then, of course, all of the faces in the crowd were of the Caucasian variety, but I’m sure that had nothing at all to do with the fact that it actually looked inhabitable during that era [insert sarcastic tone here]. BTW, I don’t live in that dump, but close enough to hear/see a lot about it.

          It amazes me to no end how certain groups of “people” (i.e. Negroes) consistently move into once-prosperous cities in huge numbers, absolutely destroy the local economy (and everything else about said cities that was ever benevolent and desirable), THEN they act all clueless and offended when Caucasians cringe at the prospect of Negroes moving in down the street…and God forbid any Caucasian say anything about not wanting their neighborhoods to turn into Negro-infested, crime-ridden shitholes, ’cause that would be “rayciss”.

          Yeah, I know…same ol’ perfectly legitimate gripe that has no place in this marvelous fantasy land of lies and blinders, a.k.a. the USA. How things could ever have been allowed to get this bad, I’ll never understand.

    1. There’s one tour group left that I know of. It’s a day trip from Kiev, Ukraine to Chernobyl 30km Exclusion Zone. Sights like wormwood memorial, St Ilys church, robot/vehicle graveyard. 10km in, feed catfish in coolong pond, a kindergarten room, and That cra, y Red Forest.

  8. No pictures of the gigantic catfish from the cooling pond? Martin Cruz Smith’s novel “Wolves Eat Dogs” is a great mystery story set in Chernobyl some years after the accident. Very well researched and so an accurate, close look at what’s happened since most of the people left.

  9. Great work kaitlin!! I love the photo of the globe.Thank you and everyone else who has been helping out while “the Boss” has computer and money issues half way around the world… Does anyone know how he’s doing??

  10. There are plenty of ‘un-official’ tours available as well, although many of the buildings are now off limits due to the wolves and bears taking up residence in them. I’ve seen so many pictures and videos of this town and the reactor I feel like I have already been there, but would still love to make a visit personally. A true vision of what remains after an apocalypse.

  11. After seeing this gallery I see that the makers of Call of Duty 4 did an amazing job turning this real life imagery into a game. Everything is in the game even down the ferris wheel and the massive parking lot that contains it. It is so erie to think that this place used to have people.

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