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  1. #1
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    Mar 2010
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    Arrow Chernobyl & Pripyat, Oct 2011

    Let's try again shall we? The 'internet' ate my last post, the hungry sod.

    On April 25th 1986 a test was planned at Chernobyl NPP to see if enough electricity remained in the grid to power the cooling systems during an emergency shutdown. One particular shift had been specially trained to carry out the test however due to an unexpected load on the grid the test was put on hold for 24 hours. On April 26th 1986 a different shift initiated the test. A combination of inadequate training and a flawed reactor design resulted in a steam explosion in reactor 4, releasing at least 5% of the radioactive reactor core into the atmosphere.

    One of our guides was at the power plant at the time of the explosion. He was working on reactor 2 and told us he heard a rumbling noise much like thunder. He went outside to see reactor 4 starting to collapse. Returning to the turbine hall he started to walk towards reactor 4, joined by 1 of his friends. As they reached reactor 3 another friend joined them and told him to go and get help. He turned back to raise the alarm and his 2 friends continued along the turbine hall. He didn't see them again.

    If you have a spare 90 minutes then I recommend watching this documentary for insight into what happened.

    Reactor 4

    Work is currently underway on constructing a new cover to replace the hastily build and ageing sarcophagus. I'm sure if you ask Mr. Jellyfish nicely he will link you to a recording he made of the pile driving, it really was something else.

    One of the most contaminated areas in the zone is at Burakivka. There are 30 trenches here, 27 full of contaminated material. Beyond the trenches is the vehicle graveyard containing all manor of vehicles used in the clean-up. We were only allowed 10 minutes here.

    Of course for most people the main reason for visiting the zone is to see Pripyat.

    Pripyat was built in 1970 for workers at the power plant. It was a closed city, 1 of 9 such nuclear cities in the Soviet Union. At the time of the disaster it was home to about 50,000 people.

    This is the view from Fujiyama Bis. You can see reactor 4 looming on the horizon.

    There are some wonderful murals. This one is in the post office.

    And from the cultural centre.

    Pripyat has several schools and kindergartens.

    Amusement Park

    Swimming pool

    Handball court in the cultural centre

    The hospital

    And finally here is a rather knackered apartment.

    More on Flickr.

    Thanks for looking.

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