….and to Pripyat the Nuclear Ghost Town

Then on to the city of Pripyat (previous pop 44,000)… the city was evacuated in the days following the accident by a fleet of 1200 buses and is now a deserted ghost town…..

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I wandered around for about an hour

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…..along roads

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…..into squares and shops

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Clean-up aisle 3,4,5,6,7………

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….even into people’s apartments

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yeah…lets see DIY SOS or 60 Minute Makeover fix this

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Yep…Part of the problem.

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Then there was a fair ground in the city centre….

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The accident happened a few days before the May Day celebrations on May 1

This brand new Ferris wheel was due to open on May Day….so it has never been used, never had a single child sit on laughing with delight

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And now it never will…..

Just like the day the earth stood still.

On the way out of the zone we pass through the ‘red forest’….it aint red in colour but……its in the red-zone of radiation.

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At the exit checkpoint you pass through another full body radioactivity detector.

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Visiting Chernobyl has been a strangely detached experience…Unlike other places I have visited this place is not a place of tangible human tragedy or suffering….the implications of the Chernobyl accident will have to be assessed and studied over generations….there is no evil dictator or malign forces to blame here…it was an accident within an incompetent system…. no one to blame….and there is no real devastation to witness like visiting ground zero in Hiroshima.

The radiation is invisible, pervasive, silent, and ultimately deadly and perhaps that robs the place of its deserved impact upon the visitor.

But there was one thing that the woman who gave us the information lecture at the site said which really sticks in my mind….she said:

Even after 23 years, the task which they are undertaking is nothing more than the maintanence of the actual reactor zone.

This place can NEVER be cleaned-up, reclaimed, re-established, or re-juvenated …this little patch of northern Ukraine is lost forever. There is no question of it ever being habitable or even vaguely normal again.

Their task now is to simply to contain the radioactive materials, fuel, particles, debis, and dust, within the concrete sacophogus and manage the contamination within the exclusion zone as best they can.

FOREVER.

There are not many things that you can say are forever……but as long as we reside on this planet……this place will require constant attention, constant management, and constant vigilance….never to improve things but just to maintain the status quo.

That had an impact.


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