This is what Chernobyl looks like today
A news crew recently returned to the Ukrainian town of Pripyat, to show us what Chernobyl today looks like nearly three decades after the nuclear disaster.
On April 26, 1986, the population of the small Ukrainian town of Pripyat went from nearly 50,000 to zero. Nearly thirty years later the city is still abandoned, and it will remain so for centuries following the Chernobyl disaster that left the region saturated with radiation.
It will be at least 200 years before the fallout will even begin to reach levels where things like farming could be considered, but some estimates claim the region won’t be safe for 20,000 years or more. That doesn’t mean humans can’t enter the region, they just can’t stay there for long.
A few years back, a CBS news crew returned to Pripyat to film a brief 60 Minutes segment. To supplement that footage, cameraman Danny Cooke sent a drone up to capture images from the abandoned city.
“There was something serene, yet highly disturbing about this place,” Cooke wrote. “Time has stood still and there are memories of past happenings floating around us.”
The Chernobyl disaster is considered the worst nuclear disaster in human history, and remains one of only two “Level 7” events; the other being the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in 2011. During the meltdown, workers described the scene from the control room, claiming that from 100 yards away the reactor looked like a setting sun. As much as 5-percent of the reactor core seeped into the environment, creating an 18.5 mile wide exclusion zone that remains in effect today.
The reactor is still deadly, and left unattended will remain so for hundreds, even thousands of years. Following the disaster, Soviet officials attempted to seal it off, although their work was only meant to be temporary. Since 2009 a massive project has been underway to seal the reactor for good, but delays and a $750 million shortfall have pushed the completion date back repeatedly. Work continues, but slowly.
Check out the video below.