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Before and after the Holocaust, How Chernobyl has changed in 25 years

До И После Катастрофы, Как изменился Чернобыль за 25 лет

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

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

Also in the new gallery - the latest photos of abandoned cities and photo essay 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 Slavutych, where people light candles in honor of the memory of the heroes - the liquidators of the consequences of the disaster.

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant was built near the town of Pripyat, 18 km from the city of Chernobyl, 16 km from the border with Belarus and 110 km from Kiev. At 1:23 on April 26, 1986, an explosion occurred at the fourth power unit of the largest atomic power station 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 radioactive reactor fuel were in the air. Experts note that the total release of radioactive materials amounted to 50 million curies, which is equivalent to the consequences of the explosions of 500 atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Radioactive nuclides contaminated more than 145 thousand square kilometers of the territory of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.

Nevertheless, the population was warned about the danger of infection with a big 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, but the sarcophagus built over the fourth power unit is gradually being destroyed. In this regard, it was decided to build a new Shelter. On April 19, 2011, the Donor Conference was held in Kiev, according to the results of which about 550 million euros were raised for the construction of a new sarcophagus.

Verkhovna Rada approved the program of decommissioning the Chernobyl NPP. According to the program, nuclear power plants will be completely eliminated by 2065. At the first stage, from 2010 to 2013, nuclear fuel will be removed from nuclear power plants and transferred to long-term storage facilities. From 2013 to 2022 will be held mothballing reactor installations. From 2022 to 2045, experts will expect a decrease in the radioactivity of reactor installations. For the period from 2045 to 2065, the installations are dismantled, and the place where the station was located will be cleared.

According to some data, the authorities of Ukraine have spent over 12 billion dollars to overcome the consequences of the Chernobyl NPP for 25 years.

Photo album

The thermal explosion of the reactor at 1:23:48 on April 26 completely destroyed the roof above reactor 4 of the power unit, and partly the roof of the machine room (to the right) where the turbines directly generating electricity were located
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Open fires extinguished on the night of the disaster. But the reactor itself was burning until May 9
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Photo Gallery Chernobyl


The fourth unit was the newest at the Chernobyl NPP. It was connected to the general network on December 30, 1983
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


To extinguish the fire in the reactor, helicopters were used, dumping special compounds to prevent a chain reaction, as well as sand and clay. Subsequently, it further increased the temperature of the reactor. When falling, the compounds and sand with clay raised radioactive dust over the power unit, which the wind carried around the neighborhood.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


On October 11, 1991, as a result of a fire in the engine room at the second power unit of the ChNPP, turbine generator No. 4 was damaged, 180 tons of turbine oil and 500 cubic meters of hydrogen burnt out, and 2448 square meters collapsed. m. of the roof of the machine hall (out of 20 502).
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


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


Presentation of the Shelter construction project over the destroyed power unit
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Completion of the fourth power unit with the RBMK-1000 graphite-water reactor. 1982
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Photo Gallery Chernobyl


A government commission led by Vladimir Shcherbitsky, the Communist Party’s First Secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine, is studying a plan to build a temporary camp for the liquidators of the Chernobyl disaster. July 1986
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


The liquidation of the accident was attended by 829 thousand people, of whom 356 thousand people lived in Ukraine. Today, 219 thousand of them are still alive.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


The sarcophagus over the fourth power unit, 70 meters high, was commissioned on November 30, 1986.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Many works were carried out on a technique in which the operators were protected only by lead plates.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


In the center, the 800-meter building of the machine halls of all four power units of the Chernobyl NPP Right adminzdaniya station.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


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


Pripyat View of the main Lenin Avenue before and after the catastrophe
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Pripyat Central Square, before and after the disaster
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Pripyat Central Square, before and after the disaster
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Pripyat Central Square, before and after the disaster
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Pripyat Central Square, before and after the disaster
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Pripyat House of Culture Energetic, before and after the disaster
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Pripyat Before and after the disaster.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Photo Gallery Chernobyl


View of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant from Pripyat.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


View of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant from Pripyat.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Since 2011, tours to Chernobyl cost from $ 100
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Photo Gallery Chernobyl


This is how the Shelter looks like in spring 2011.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


In the 2000s, the western wall of the Shelter began to lean, which could lead to its destruction and the re-release of radioactive substances. According to this, in 2008 a retaining structure was built.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


The control panel of the fourth power unit.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


The control panel of the fourth power unit.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


The control panel of the fourth power unit.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Photo Gallery Chernobyl


View from the apartment in Pripyat on the Chernobyl NPP
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Pripyat View of the recreation park.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


The largest repository of radioactive equipment in the Exclusion Zone near the village of Rossokha. 90's photo
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


At the end of the 90s, companies appeared that, with the official permission of the Ukrainian authorities, removed engines from infected equipment, disinfected them according to the documents and then sold them under the guise of ordinary auto parts.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


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


Abandoned village
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Every week an autoshop arrives at the site.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Samosely without fear of radiation are subsistence farming.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


After the man left, the population of many animals resumed in the Zone.
Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Photo Gallery Chernobyl


Photo Gallery Chernobyl