Trip to Chernobyl Zone, May 2007


This trip to the alienated Zone of the Chernobyl atomic power station was much more interesting than last year. We left early so that we would have more time.

As to the risk (as many ask) I will say the following: the background level in the Zone is not a big danger (except for several places where one would not think of going). The intenisty of the exposure dose of radiation at 10 km from site is not high. The dose received by us for a day is comparable to what would be received on one transatlantic flight. Greatest danger is risk of inhaling a hot particle, a slice of nuclear fuel from a reactor. The probability of this is low, as compliance with the safety precautions and rules of behaviour in the Zone aims for zero, but the possibility exists, therefore everyone solves it for themselves, and I have, for a long time, solved it for all.

Having left Kiev at 7:30am by minibus with air conditioning (hurrah!) we stopped at the village Zalese which is now a completely impassable jungle though it once had a population of more than two thousand people, then called into Chernobyl for a short briefing. We were surprised by the huge, monumental constructions intended for cooling water. The closer we approached, the higher our radiometres read, these places did not previously pass activation test and visitors did not go in the general area, we appeared to be the first visitors allowed there. Still not too close as readings rapidly increased on approach.

And the pictures from their 2008 trip are even more haunting.