Place Hacking

Urban Exploration on the Edge

A visit to Chernobyl and the ghost town Pripyat

30 years ago on April 26th 1986 the worst nuclear power plant accident in history in terms of cost and casualties happens  at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the town of Pripyat, in Ukraine.

What is it like to stay in a post apocalyptic wasteland, devoid of human life? Watch a A Walk Around Chernobyl by Veritasium. Veritasium is a channel of science and engineering videos featuring experiments, expert interviews, cool demos, and discussions with the public about everything science:

The Australian Carl Montgomery set out to find out, and traveled to Chernobyl and Pripyat in the fall of 2006. After the nuclear accident that occurred in 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine which led to large quantities of radioactive particles to be released into the atmosphere, the area is still contaminated. His visit to Chernobyl and Pripyat was the culmination of an experiment Carl Montgomery conducted where he would go to places that the media advises one not to travel to and see if they are as bad as they are made out to be.

The video he shot during his visit to Ukraine shows a government employee named Yuri Tatarchuck and Carl Montgomery himself.

The urban explorer UrbanX also went inside of the Chernobyl exclusion zone to learn more about the most radioactive place on Earth, and to take stunning photos.

He documents how he got as close as 200 meters to the fateful reactor 4, and how he was guided through the contaminated wasteland. While he could walk through the area without special protective gear, he was advised to not place any photo equipment or other belongings on the ground and to never touch any vegetation. Passing a lake with decaying shipwrecks by car, he was prohibited from exiting the vehicle due to high radiation levels, all checked up on with a Geiger counter purchased on the official Pripyat website beforehand. Walking about in a former kindergarten that has since been used as a laboratory for testing soil and flesh, the floor was covered by little sample-bottles that would crack under his feet with every step, exposing radioactive crumbles. His photos show a abandoned world, wiped out by the disaster of the exploding reactor in 1986. He describes how after the accident, workers have been told that in order to operate with the radioactive matter, they should drink vodka since the radioactivity would have no grasp then, and they should only be in direct contact with the highly contaminated soil for up to 20 seconds, a time frame that was completely made up.


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Watch the movie The Ghost Town by at Sense of Time about the ghost town Pripyat!

Thomas Büsch

Filmmaker, Founding Member and Secretary General of diyalog, promotion of cultural exchange with Turkey. Since 2012 he is also project manager of InEnArt.

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