The beginning of the last day in the zone, and one you could say that was one of the most successful explore days I've ever had; despite time restrictions on each site, I don't think you could fault this trip.

I'd been banging on about it for weeks to poor Landie and Zotez about seeing the trains, so we sought about doing this first today. However, on a total whim our guide said: 'It's not included on any of our access permits, and it's very contaminated there, but I'm going to see if I can take you to see the unfinished cooling tower.' What a diamond. Whilst the area outside was used for storing fuel rod transporters (NOT been used, rest assured!), there was no gatehouse or anyone lingering in the area to stop us. Heh.

So this was supposed to be the cooling tower for Reactor 5 (IIRC), which was due to open in 1988 but was abandoned after the blast and left in the state you see it in today. I've never stood under a fully complete cooling tower, but what an experience it was!

I'm in there somewhere lol

Can't remember what this was...

So on we went, to see what I love best! We were damn lucky to see these, as this bit is effectively live; our guide didn't have a permit to enter this area, and whilst we were taking photos he was asked whether he had a permit to enter. He didn't. We got our photos, but our guide said if any other tourists go there again he'll need to show a permit.

A lot of the photos came out poorly because of my camera being in the shade and miscalculating the exposure. Oh well.

The next 2 sites we visited were only brief and fleeting, and not of great note compared with what was to come!

We stopped by in the secondary school with the gasmasks, but only had 10-15 minutes so really it was just to see the masks and nothing else. Shame. We would've gone and explored the gym hall as well, but as you can just about see there was a dip in the floor at the entrance which looked like death on a stick.

Why were these gasmasks held in the school? Well basically, at the time of the blast in 1986, tensions between the US and the Soviet Union as you'll all know were pretty high so in the event of an attack (whether it be a normal bomb, gas or even a nuclear bomb) the students would have donned the masks and been evacuated.

We made a very brief stop to see what was one of the graveyards for the robots used in the clean up at the time of the blast. Nothing remained except a seriously radioactive claw; the robots were so badly contaminated they were taken away and buried.