Chernobyl: Of Abandoned towns and lives that are still at risk 30 years on

CHORNOBYL, UKRAINE - SEPTEMBER 29: A doll lies among children's beds standing in the abandoned kindergarten of Kopachi village located inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone on September 29, 2015 near Chornobyl, Ukraine. Kopachi, a village that before 1986 had a population of 1,114, lies only a few kilometers south of the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant, where in 1986 workers inadvertantly caused reactor number four to explode, creating the worst nuclear accident in history. Radiation fallout was so high that authorities bulldozed and buried all of Kopachi's structures except for the kindergarten. Today the Kopachi site, which lies in the inner exclusion zone around Chernobyl where hot spots of persistently high levels of radiation make the area uninhabitable for thousands of years to come, is still contaminated with plutonium, cesium-137 and strontium-90. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

A doll lies among children's beds standing in the abandoned kindergarten of Kopachi village located inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone on 29 September 2015 near Chornobyl, Ukraine. Kopachi, a village that before 1986 had a population of 1,114, lies only a few kilometers south of the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant, where in 1986 workers inadvertantly caused reactor number four to explode, creating the worst nuclear accident in history. Image courtesy: Getty Images

Ivan Shamyanok, 90, drinks tea in his house in the village of Tulgovichi, near the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, Belarus April 2, 2016. Shamyanok says the secret to a long life is not leaving your birthplace even when it is a Belarusian village poisoned with radioactive fallout from a nuclear disaster. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

Ivan Shamyanok, 90, drinks tea in his house in the village of Tulgovichi, near the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, Belarus .Shamyanok says the secret to a long life is not leaving your birthplace even when it is a Belarusian village poisoned with radioactive fallout from a nuclear disaster. Shamyanok and his nephew are the only ones living in the village. Image courtesy: Reuters 

CHERNOBYL - JANUARY 29: A sign showing the names of people who used to live in the apartment block are seen in the town of Pripyat on January 29, 2006 near Chernobyl, Ukraine. The town of Pripyat, deserted since the 1986 catastrophe, once housed 30,000 people, the majority workers from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Days after the catastrophe the inhabitants were relocated to other locations in the Soviet Union. The town of Pripyat has remained uninhabited since the Catastrophe. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

A sign showing the names of people who used to live in the apartment block are seen in the town of Pripyat, Ukraine. The town of Pripyat, deserted since the 1986 catastrophe, once housed 30,000 people, the majority workers from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Days after the catastrophe the inhabitants were relocated to other locations in the Soviet Union. The town of Pripyat has remained uninhabited since the disaster. Image courtesy: Getty Images 

CHERNOBYL - JANUARY 25: Toys and a gas mask lay in dust in an abandoned pre-school in the deserted city of Pripyat on January 25, 2006 in Chernobyl, Ukraine. Prypyat and the surrounding area will not be safe for human habitation for several centuries. Scientists estimate that the most dangerous radioactive elements will take up to 900 years to decay sufficiently to render the area safe. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

Toys and a gas mask lay in dust in an abandoned pre-school in the deserted Pripyat in Chernobyl, Ukraine. Priypyat and the surrounding area will not be safe for human habitation for several centuries. Scientists estimate that the most dangerous radioactive elements will take up to 900 years to decay sufficiently to render the area safe. Image courtesy: Getty Images

PRIPYAT, UKRAINE - APRIL 09: Small dosimeters that measure radiation dosage and used by emergency workers following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster lie scattered on the ground outside on April 9, 2016 in Pripyat, Ukraine. Pripyat, built in the 1970s as a model Soviet city to house the workers and families of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, now stands abandoned inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, a restricted zone contaminated by radiation from the 1986 meltdown of reactor number four at the nearby Chernobyl plant in the world's worst civilian nuclear accident that spewed radiaoactive fallout across the globe. Authorities evacuated approximately 43,000 people from Pripyat in the days following the disaster and the city, with its high-rise apartment buildings, hospital, shops, schools, restaurants, cultural center and sports facilities, has remained a ghost-town ever since. The world will soon commemorate the 30th anniversary of the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Today tour operators bring tourists in small groups to explore certain portions of the exclusion zone. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Small dosimeters that measure radiation dosage and used by emergency workers following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster lie scattered on the ground outside in Pripyat, Ukraine. Pripyat, built in the 1970s as a model Soviet city to house the workers and families of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, now stands abandoned inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, a restricted zone contaminated by radiation from the 1986 meltdown of reactor number four at the nearby Chernobyl plant in the world's worst civilian nuclear accident that spewed radiaoactive fallout across the globe. Image courtesy: Getty Images

FILE In this file photo taken on Wednesday, March 19, 1996, five-year-old Alek Zhloba, who suffers from leukaemia, is held by his doctor in the children's cancer ward of the Gomel Regional Hospital, in Gomel, Belarus. There are tracks from medical procedures on his head. Much of the nuclear fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster fell on Belarus. Thirty years ago, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded in Ukraine, spreading radioactive material across much of the Northern Hemisphere. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion was only about 60 miles from photographer Efrem Lukatsky's home, but he didn’t learn about it until the next morning from a neighbor. Only a few photographers were allowed to cover the destroyed reactor and desperate cleanup efforts, and all of them paid for it with their health. I went a few months later, and have returned dozens of times. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky File)

Five-year-old Alek Zhloba, who suffers from leukaemia, is held by his doctor in the children's cancer ward of the Gomel Regional Hospital, in Belarus. There are tracks from medical procedures on his head. Much of the nuclear fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster fell on Belarus. Thirty years ago, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded in Ukraine, spreading radioactive material across much of the Northern Hemisphere. Image courtesy: AP 


Updated Date: Apr 26, 2016 16:31 PM

Also See