Before the fatal date of April 26, 1986, Chernobyl and Pripyat were two small ordinary cities with a total population of about 60 thousand. However, one night turned Chernobyl into one of the most well-known places in the world and the symbol of danger, threat, and catastrophe.
Unprofessional staff behavior, which caused the voltage drop, is considered as the main reason of the Chernobyl disaster. Even 30 years later, the exact cause of the accident is not confirmed. There were two explosions on the fourth reactor. Consequently, more than 60 tons of radioactive substances were released into the air. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Chernobyl accident was believed to have released 30 to 40 times as much lethal ash as the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The explosions caused a fire which lasted two days and killed 31 people. About 240 thousand workers were involved in the process of the elimination of the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. No one had special equipment and everyone received a high dose of radiation. But they saved lives of millions of people and prevented much more devastating catastrophe.
The scale of the disaster was terrifying. Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia suffered from the explosion the most. Elevated radiation level was recorded in almost all European countries and even in the USA.
Because of contamination of the rivers, groundwater and agricultural lands the thirty-kilometer nearby area became an uninhabitable place. Consequently, a so-called Exclusion Zone was established.
The USSR government tried to keep the information secret, so the evacuation of people from the contaminated area began only in two days. Thousands of people were exposed to radiation.
The impacts of the disaster still exist. As scientists say, it will be minimized only in 300 years. The Chernobyl disaster is predicted to result in rising numbers of deaths from cancer.
But nowadays, about 30 years after the catastrophe, the Exclusion Zone is not completely uninhabited. Forty-seven people constantly live here. They returned just after the disaster and refused to leave their homes.
The abandonment of the Exclusion Zone caused a rapid increase of greenery and wildlife. Approximately four hundred species of animals and birds, including rare kinds, live there. Chernobyl forests are inhabited by owls, moose, deer, wild boars, wolves, lynxes, brown bears. The same is about rare species of plants. As a result, Chernobyl Radiation and Environmental Biosphere Reserve was founded here in 2016. The aim of the reserve is to preserve nature and to provide scientific researches in the Exclusion Zone.
Visiting Chernobyl and Pripyat is not an ordinary tour. It’s a step back in the 1986 year, as well as a step in a possible future. Over the last thirty years, Chernobyl zone becomes a place of myths and legends. The best way to reveal the truth is to travel there and to see the results of the tremendous catastrophe with your own eyes.
Our company offers private and group tours to Chernobyl and Pripyat. Knowledgeable and experienced guides will provide you with striking facts about Chernobyl disaster and will care about your safety during the tour. The short-term stay in the Exclusion Zone is absolutely safe, however, it’s essential to follow all guides’ recommendations and remain within permitted area.