Chernobyl disaster photo essay

Images of Zoya and other former residents returning to Pripyat can be seen in a Reuters Wider Image photo essay at reut.

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They took their documents and a small suitcase. What irks Valentina Yermakova, 64, is that many of the belongings they left behind have disappeared. While it is forbidden to remove anything from the radioactive zone, a large amount of portable items have been smuggled out by illegal trophy-hunters and scrap-dealers.

The pain, it clenches inside you.

Chernobyl nuclear disaster – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian

But Yermakova, whose husband worked in the plant and died several years later from causes relating to radiation, said even though Pripyat is in ruins it still feels like home. Discover Thomson Reuters. Directory of sites.

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Chernobyl now: 'I was not afraid of radiation' – a photo essay

Source: Atlas Obscura. Read more: Photos show what daily life is really like inside Chernobyl's exclusion zone, one of the most polluted areas in the world. Source: The Guardian. Search icon A magnifying glass.

Photo Essay: Inside Chernobyl nuclear plant

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"I had this kind of fear," McMillan said of growing up during that time period.

He said he became concerned about the role nuclear weapons could play in political warfare. Then, on April 26, , a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine exploded, shooting out toxic radioactive particles across parts of Europe. About , people were evacuated, with most leaving their homes, places of work, and worldly belongings behind forever.

Fallout - Chernobyl 25 years later - Photoessay by Robert Knoth

In the years following the disaster, McMillan said he kept up with the news about it, and he eventually decided he had to check it out for himself. He said he decided to venture to the exclusion zone that was now permanently contaminated to see what the aftermath of a nuclear disaster looked like.

"I had this kind of fear," McMillan said of growing up during that time period.

He said he went to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone for the first time in , eight years after the nuclear meltdown. He said he started his journey by looking for people who could help get him in and by obtaining a visa because, at the time, you needed one to enter Ukraine. He said he eventually connected with a man who lived in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, about 90 miles south of the exclusion zone, who agreed to get him in for a fee. Many of his photos were taken in the city of Pripyat, Ukraine, a city about three miles northwest of the power plant.

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  • The city was once home to 50, people, most of whom worked at the plant, McMillan said. The average age of the city's population at the time was about 26 or 27 years old, McMillan said. So there were lots of kindergartens, hospitals, and schools, with amenities for entertainment like movie theaters and swimming pools.

    Now those once glistening establishments are abandoned, deteriorated, and still contaminated, and Pripyat is one of the most unlivable places in the zone, McMillan said. The scenes depicted in the photos eerily show how residents were so quickly evacuated after the explosion in McMillan said they left their furniture, pets, dental and school records, among other items, and were taken to other cities.