This page has been robot translated, sorry for typos if any. Original content here.

Before And After The Disaster, How Chernobyl Has Changed Over 25 Years

До И После Катастрофы, Как изменился Чернобыль за 25 лет

April 26 marks exactly 25 years since the day of the largest nuclear disaster in the world - the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

We present a selection of unique archival photographs of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant taken in the first hours after the explosion of the reactor, as well as a series of panoramic shots of Chernobyl and Pripyat, illustrating how these cities have changed over a quarter century.

Also in the new gallery are the latest photographs of abandoned cities and a photo story about the life of people who 25 years ago refused to evacuate and still continue to live in villages located in the 30-kilometer exclusion zone. The gallery ends with today's pictures from Slavutich, in which people light candles in honor of the memory of heroes - liquidators of the consequences of the disaster.

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant was built near the city of Pripyat, 18 km from the city of Chernobyl, 16 km from the border with Belarus and 110 km from Kiev. At 1:23 a.m. on April 26, 1986, an explosion occurred at the fourth power unit of the largest nuclear power plant in the Soviet Union, which completely destroyed the reactor.

As a result of the explosion, 190 tons of radioactive substances were released into the atmosphere. 8 out of 140 tons of reactor radioactive fuel were in the air. Experts note that the total release of radioactive materials amounted to 50 million curies, which is tantamount to the consequences of the explosions of 500 atomic bombs dropped in Hiroshima in 1945. More than 145 thousand square kilometers of the territory of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia were contaminated with radioactive nuclides.

Nevertheless, the population was warned about the danger of infection with a great delay. The first official announcement on television was made only on April 28. After the accident, more than 115 thousand people were evacuated from the 30-kilometer zone. In addition, more than 600 thousand people were mobilized to eliminate the consequences of the disaster.

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant was completely closed on December 15, 2000, however, the sarcophagus built over the fourth power unit is gradually being destroyed. In this regard, it was decided to build a new shelter facility. On April 19, 2011, a Donor Conference was held in Kiev, according to which about 550 million euros were raised for the construction of a new sarcophagus.

The Verkhovna Rada approved the Chernobyl decommissioning program. According to the program, the nuclear power plant will be completely eliminated by 2065. At the first stage, from 2010 to 2013, nuclear fuel will be withdrawn from nuclear power plants and transferred to long-term storage facilities. From 2013 to 2022, preservation of reactor facilities will take place. From 2022 to 2045, experts will expect a decrease in the radioactivity of the reactor facilities. From 2045 to 2065, the plants are dismantled, and the place where the station was located will be cleaned.

According to some reports, the Ukrainian authorities spent over $ 12 billion overcoming the consequences of the Chernobyl accident.

Photo album

From the thermal explosion of the reactor at 1:23:48 on April 26, the roof over the reactor 4 of the power unit was completely destroyed, and partly the roof of the machine room (on the right), where there were turbines directly generating electricity
Photogallery of Chernobyl


The open fires were extinguished on the night of the disaster. But the reactor itself burned until May 9
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Photogallery of Chernobyl


The fourth power unit was the newest at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. He was connected to the public network on December 30, 1983
Photogallery of Chernobyl


To extinguish the fire in the reactor, helicopters were used, dropping special compounds to prevent a chain reaction, as well as sand and clay. Subsequently, this further increased the temperature of the reactor. During the fall, the compositions and sand and clay raised radioactive dust over the power unit, which the wind carried around.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


On October 11, 1991, as a result of a fire in the turbine room at the second Chernobyl nuclear power plant, turbogenerator No. 4 was damaged, 180 tons of turbine oil and 500 cubic meters of hydrogen burned out, 2448 sq. M collapsed. m. of the roof of the machine room (out of 20 502).
Photogallery of Chernobyl


The weight of the collapsed structures of the second power unit exceeded 100 tons. After the accident, the power unit was decommissioned.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Presentation of the Shelter Project over the destroyed power unit
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Completion of the fourth power unit with a RBMK-1000 graphite-water reactor. 1982 year
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Photogallery of Chernobyl


The government commission, headed by the first secretary of the Communist Party of the Ukrainian SSR, Vladimir Shcherbitsky, is studying a plan to build a temporary shift camp Zeleniy Mys for the liquidators of the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. July 1986
Photogallery of Chernobyl


829 thousand people took part in the liquidation of the accident, of which 356 thousand people lived in Ukraine. Today, 219 thousand of them remain alive.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


The sarcophagus above the fourth power unit, 70 meters high, was commissioned on November 30, 1986.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Many work was carried out on equipment in which operators were protected only with lead plates.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


In the center, the 800-meter building of the engine rooms of all four Chernobyl power units. On the right is the administrative building of the station.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


The city of Pripyat is located three kilometers from the nuclear power plant.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Pripyat. View of the main avenue of Lenin before and after the disaster
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Pripyat. Central square, before and after the disaster
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Pripyat. Central square, before and after the disaster
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Pripyat. Central square, before and after the disaster
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Pripyat. Central square, before and after the disaster
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Pripyat. House of Culture Energetik, before and after the disaster
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Pripyat. Before and after the disaster.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Photogallery of Chernobyl


View of the Chernobyl NPP from Pripyat.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


View of the Chernobyl NPP from Pripyat.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Since 2011, excursions to Chernobyl cost from $ 100
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Photogallery of Chernobyl


This is how the Shelter object looks in the spring of 2011.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


In the 2000s, the western wall of the Shelter began to tilt, which could lead to its destruction and the repeated release of radioactive substances. Therefore, in 2008 they built a retaining structure.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


The control panel of the fourth power unit.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


The control panel of the fourth power unit.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


The control panel of the fourth power unit.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Photogallery of Chernobyl


View from the apartment in Pripyat at the Chernobyl NPP
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Photogallery of Chernobyl


Photogallery of Chernobyl


Photogallery of Chernobyl


Photogallery of Chernobyl


Photogallery of Chernobyl


Pripyat. View of the park of culture and rest.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


The largest burial ground in the Exclusion Zone for radioactive equipment near the village of Rossokha. 90s photo
Photogallery of Chernobyl


In the late 90s, there are companies that, according to official permissions of the Ukrainian authorities, remove engines from infected equipment, decontaminate them according to documents, and then sell them under the guise of ordinary auto parts.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Despite radiation, former residents of these places are returning to the Exclusion Zone. According to official statistics, about 200 self-settlers live in Chernobyl and its environs today. unofficially around 400.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Abandoned village
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Every week, a car shop comes to the truck.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Photogallery of Chernobyl


Photogallery of Chernobyl


Dwellings without fear of radiation are subsistence farming.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


After the person left, the population of many animals resumed in the Zone.
Photogallery of Chernobyl


Photogallery of Chernobyl


Photogallery of Chernobyl


Photogallery of Chernobyl


Photogallery of Chernobyl