The most devastating accident of all times took place in the nuclear plant 30 years ago, but the place is still being cleaned, and the human suffering goes on for generations.

We were part of a small tourist group for one day’s tour. It was like crossing to another country: licences and passports were presented at the checkpoint.
The extent of the disaster became tangible as we visited some villages and the ghost towns of Chernobyl and Pripyat. The evacuated settlements amount to 96 on the Ukrainian side and 92 on the Belorussian side.  Two hundred obstinate re-settlers live there, and three companies are active. Their workers are only allowed to do two-week shifts. One of the companies is constructing a new cover to the nuclear plant to prevent the radiation for the next hundred years.
Radiation is still everywhere. After the accident, it was so immense that the cleaners could only work for two minutes at a time. They tried to use robots, but the electronics were destroyed by radiation.
The Nature is powerful. We saw no two-headed animals. Instead, we heard that wildlife is thriving in the woods. Thick forests had grown in the villages and towns so that it was impossible to see the houses along the streets.
Text: Oili Räsänen
Photo: Hannu Räsänen
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