Pripyat: The ghost town near Chernobyl
At the end of the twentieth century, a disastrous disaster took place that had major consequences for Eastern Europe. In 1986, a nuclear disaster took place in Chernobyl. This meant that people from the surrounding area had to evacuate to a safe shelter. The nearby city of Pripyat is the largest city in the area that had to be evacuated. Due to the sudden evacuation, all kinds of facilities were left. Pripyat has since taken on the appearance of a ghost town with abandoned schools, hospital and fairground.
- The Chernobyl nuclear disaster
- A tour with a guide
The Chernobyl nuclear disaster
Early in the morning on April 26, 1986, a disaster struck the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. This plant is located about 130 kilometers north of the capital of Ukraine, Kiev. This is about 20 kilometers south of the border with Belarus. The nuclear power plant had four Russian RBMK-1000 nuclear reactors. The design is now considered unsafe because the nuclear core is not cooled by means of water. Instead, graphite was used as an attempt to reduce the reactivity of the nuclear core. This turned out not to work in practice, because the core became even more reactive due to the heating of the nuclear core.
The cause of the nuclear disaster
The nuclear power plant was shut down once because routine work had to be carried out. The staff did not comply with the safety regulations and at the same time had turned off a number of security mechanisms. In addition, the ‘AZ-5’ button was pressed too late, causing the emergency stop to be implemented too late. This button was intended to ensure that the control rods end up back in the reactor core. Also, an error in the design of the emergency stop caused the water to be removed first before the control rods had a braking effect. This eventually triggered a chain reaction in which the nuclear reactors caused multiple explosions and the safety bars became trapped as a result.
At the time of the explosions, 31 people were killed. After the nuclear disaster, the nearby city of Pripyat was evacuated because of the dangerous radiation emitted by the nuclear power plant. The number of people negatively affected by the radiation is unknown. Researchers agree that a large part of Europe was temporarily affected by excessive radiation.
The city of Pripyat is a city near Chernobyl and had more than fifty thousand inhabitants before the disaster. This place had more inhabitants than Chernobyl (aka Chernobyl or Chornobyl). Chernobyl had only about twelve thousand inhabitants. Pripyat was a city with all kinds of facilities and infrastructure. This city had, among other things, a harbor, train station, a hospital and various schools.
The former inhabitants
Pripyat is located about 10 kilometers northwest of where the nuclear disaster took place. A large part of the inhabitants had a job at the nuclear power plant. After the disaster, the residents of Pripyat had to move immediately to the town of Slavoetyts for their safety.
A run-down fair
The area is largely known for an old fairground located here. Dilapidated bumper cars and a Ferris wheel create a terrifying yet intriguing impression. It conveys a (post-) apocalyptic feeling.
A tour with a guide
Nowadays it is only possible to visit the town with a guide. Visitors are only safe if they follow their guide and stay within the paths. After all, outside the paths there are buildings that are so degraded that there is a risk of collapse. In addition, there may be radiation.
Radiation in the area
Over the years, the amount of radiation in the area has decreased. However, moss is still growing in the affected area and can be life threatening. When one touches the moss, radioactive radiation can come from here. After the tour, their clothes must be deposited due to extra precautions.