In 1986 the reactor at Chernobyl went about as wrong as it was possible to go. The place went into melt down and vast areas of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus were evacuated. It’s still considered the worst nuclear accident of all time. Yay humans! In all around 50,000 people were evacuated and the land won’t be safe for human habitation for at least another 20,000 years.
There are parts of the so-called exclusion zone that are now safe(ish) for people to visit for short times and it’s even possible to take tours. But you’re not recommended to hang around. Only a few people still live in this exclusion zone, mostly older people who never left. Their numbers are slowly dwindling.
The video below is the work of British filmmaker Danny Cooke, who visited Chernobyl this year while working for 60 Minutes. In the video’s description, Cooke explains how even he was effected by the explosion from afar:
Chernobyl is one of the most interesting and dangerous places I’ve been. The nuclear disaster, which happened in 1986 (the year after I was born), had an effect on so many people, including my family when we lived in Italy. The nuclear dust clouds swept westward towards us. The Italian police went round and threw away all the local produce and my mother rushed out to purchase as much tinned milk as possible to feed me, her infant son.
You can’t help but feel haunted by the desolation:
The only real winner here is nature. She’s coming back with an unrelenting force. It’s strange that the worst nuclear disaster of all time is the best thing that has happened for the local wildlife for hundreds of years.
If the nuclear grade slime were to hit the fan again, don’t worry, we’ve got your back: here’s your guide to surviving the next nuclear apocalypse. Because, as we all know, it’s only a matter of time.