Ghost Town of Pripyat – 18 years later

I remember one morning when I was 7, it was April 26th, 1986. I was getting ready for school and the news was going on about some power plant exploding in the USSR. I didn’t really consider what a big deal that was or what kind of impact radiation can have. Here are some details:

“In 1986 a nuclear reactor in Chernobyl began an uncontrolled, runaway nuclear reaction. The heat produced a massive steam explosion which released large amounts of radioactive material into the air.

Most of this material precipitated out of the air into the nearby farms, villages, and towns making them uninhabitable.

Luckily much of the high level radiation was produced by radio isotopes with short half-lives, and the radiation levels quickly dropped. Nevertheless, the residual background radiation stabilized at a level which has been considered high for human occupation.”

Photo of ghost town, PripyatThis is a photo of the abandoned city of Pripyat. Although the damaged reactor in its crumbling “sarcophagus” is still an extremely hazardous site, radiation levels in the town of Pripyat and in the surrounding countryside are considered safe enough for brief visits. At the time, the explosion released thirty to forty times the radioactivity of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Pripyat has been a ghost town since the explosion in 1986.

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