Scenes from Chernobyl

I saw this on BoingBoing, and it’s been making the rounds, but if you haven’t seen it yet, you really owe it to yourself to give it a visit. A woman who lives in Belarus near Chernobyl likes to go zooming through the “dead zone” on her high-powered motorcycle. She likes it because, as she says, “one can ride there for hours and not meet any single car and not to see any single soul.” She was a girl when the reactor blew back in 1986, and her father, whom she quotes often, is a nuclear physicist. She sprinkles her remarkable photos with direct, informative, and often heartbreaking prose. The area around Chernobyl is, of course, devoid of all human activity save for a few officials with dosimeters. She has one picture of what looks like a digital clock in operation. Why would they maintain a working digital clock in that emptiness? But she points out the units are not hours and minutes, but micro-roentgens per hour. Here are some highlights.

Chernobyl actually has become something of a tourist destination. But not everyone was happy with their tour of the ghost town it has become.

They charged 210 us dollars for 2 hours excursion and town guard say, they all were leaving in some 15 mins, complaining that silense is tremendous as if one got deaf.

Next to a picture of a tall building, she had this to say.

This is highest building in town and in April 26-27, 1986 after reactor exploaded, people gathered on the roof of this building to watch a beautiful shining that rised above APP [atomic power plant]. They didn’t know this was shining of radiation. they learned it on next day when evacuation began.

If you want a look at a post-apocalyptic world, you don’t need to pick up a science fiction novel. This entire region has been poisoned, seriously poisoned for at least 900 years. It’s hard to believe. Riveting stuff.

4 thoughts on “Scenes from Chernobyl”

  1. uh oh, the link already doesn’t work.
    Wild guess — page taken down because of too much traffic?

  2. What a pity. I thought about that last night before I posted, so I double-checked it was still visible. I conclude therefore it was the mighty surge of traffic through my site that finally knocked it offline. It was so popular that I’m sure it’ll pop up again somewhere else. If anybody spots it, let me know.

  3. OK, here’s a sneaky trick — replace “page2” on the URL with “page3”, and it works. You miss the first page but there are about 17 more where that one came from.

    (I cleaned out my Internet Explorer cache so I’m 99% sure, barring lack of understanding of obscure Microsoft details, that it was actually going and getting the page.)

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