On this day 22 years ago Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded and became the world’s worst nuclear disaster. I don’t have much of a Chernobyl personal story. It happened right before the May Day when we were looking forward to a weekend of camping and drinking. Soviet Government did not even acknowledge the disaster and obviously didn’t know how to deal with it, so all the information was coming in the form of rumors and Voice of America shortwave broadcasts. Some unconfirmed whispers about a fire on a nuclear power plant did not stop us from spending few careless days in tents around the campfire. It was literally the wind direction that decided who will be affected by the fallout. My friends and me were among the lucky ones, wind blew in the opposite direction. There are few people in Kansas City who were drafted to work on the site clean-up and decontamination. There are probably hundreds of thousands of people who were affected in various degrees. Nowadays, there are plenty of pictures of the ghost town which is still stuck in 1986 and tours of the disaster area are freely available. The eerie images from the 30 km zone would make a suitable background for the final scene of the Planet of the Apes. Just like the destroyed Statue of Liberty in the movie it stands as a reminder of a good intentions gone bad, government inefficiency and lack of caring for the people, and heroism of the simple people in the face of unknown and deadly force.
More information is available here.
Reactor is still going,
Still taking lives.