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Chernobyl tour

Discussion in 'Non-World War 2 History' started by jagdpanther44, May 12, 2017.

  1. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Battlefield wanderer

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    Chernobyl and the abandoned city of Pripyat were places that me and my son had wanted to visit for a long time. So after a little research to find a reputable tour company we booked our flights and hotel.

    We arrived at our hotel in the Ukraine capital of Kiev on Monday afternoon, dropped our luggage in our room and then set off for a few hours of sightseeing in Kiev city. The next morning at 08:00 we were picked up from our hotel by our tour guide and driver and set off on an almost 3 hour drive to Chernobyl.

    Before entering the 30km exclusion zone that surrounds the Chernobyl power plant we had to pass through a checkpoint where our paperwork and passports were inspected by military guards. This took well over 1hr to complete and we still had another checkpoint to go through at 10kms, which thankfully was a lot quicker to get through than the first.

    First stop was Chernobyl power plant. You are restricted to where and what you can take photographs of so I had to be careful not to include personnel and certain buildings within my shots.

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    Our next destination was the abandoned city of Pripyat...
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
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  2. Owen

    Owen O

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    Look forward to your other pics.
     
  3. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Battlefield wanderer

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    Pripyat was home to almost 50,000 people which included most of the power plant workers and their families. After the disaster it was completely evacuated in just 3hrs.

    The Pripyat name sign on the road in to the city
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    This photo was taken from the rooftop of one of the 16 story apartment blocks on the edge of the city. The Chernobyl power plant and new containment building can be seen in the distance
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    One of the cities hospitals
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    That's my son at the end of the corridor
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    Last edited: May 13, 2017
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  4. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Wow........reminds me, I must dig out my DVD of 'The Chernobyl Diaries'......
     
  5. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Battlefield wanderer

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    Cafe Pripyat. There was a very dark and eerie basement in this building, and although I'm used to going in to WW2 bunkers and fortifications, I chose not to venture down there!
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  6. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Cracking stuff, John.
    You've actually been to see the elephant's foot.

    Very good BBC4 documentary on the remarkable new cover is still on iPlayer.
    'Inside Chernobyl's mega tomb'.
     
  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana WW2|ORG Editor

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    Nova has a recently show on building the "mega tomb".
     
  8. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Battlefield wanderer

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    The Elephants Foot is one thing that I would certainly not want to see. Although it's radiation levels have dropped significantly since the accident, it is still highly radioactive.

    It's interesting to note that outside radiation levels in Kiev city are actually higher than in Pripyat. The liquidators who cleaned Pripyats streets after the disaster obviously did a good job.
     
  9. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    I'll second Adam's recommendation of the BBC4 documentary - quite fascinating & an incredible piece of civil engineering.
     
  10. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Battlefield wanderer

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    I've seen the BBC documentary and it is indeed very good. The new containment buildings sheer size cannot be appreciated until you've actually seen it with your own eyes. It is an immense feat of engineering!
     
  11. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Battlefield wanderer

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    Now most of you know that I like to do then and now comparison photos but this was the only one I managed to do during our tour of Pripyat. The Azure swimming pool was actually used until 1998 by the liquidators before it too was abandoned.
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    A recent ruling has banned visitors from going in to the buildings in Pripyat so before entering the abandoned city we gave the local police who patrol there 'a monetary gift'. It turned out that it was a good move because as I was leaving the swimming pool building a police officer came in, muttered something to me in Ukrainian and then walked away.

    Phew! No handcuffs for me today!
     
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  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Thanks for posting these, as the Chernobyl disaster has always fascinated me. Can't wait to see more.
     
  13. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Great photos. I've never been there myself, but several associates were involved in the international investigation of the incident in the 1970s.
     
  14. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    You mean the 80's?

    AFAIK, the only other accident at Chernobyl, was a partial core melt of the #1 reactor on September 9, 1982.
     
  15. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Yes, of course. Thanks for pointing out my error - Late Saturday night "brain fart".

    These colleagues and associates I'm referring to were involved in the initial IAEA INSAG investigation/report (released the same year as the 86 meltdown), as well as subsequent efforts.

    But I don't mean to derail the thread. Let's see some more photos John!
     
  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Aww shucks...I was hoping there was another accident at Chernobyl that I had not heard about.

    Cool though, I have a pdf copy of INSAG-7(update of INSAG-1), but not a copy of the original INSAG-1(lost in a head crash some time ago).
     
  17. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    I have INSAG-1 floating around somewhere, which is good because it seems that the IAEA website doesn't support the download of it any more. From a technical perspective INSAG-7 is the go-to resource, but for those interested in the history of the event and in particular the evolution/accuracy of theories over time, INSAG-1 and its comparison to -7 is essential.

    Of course, then another topic entirely are the certain aspects which were omitted from INSAG-1 (and -7) reports for "political" reasons, despite the fact they these items were discussed by the working groups. Fascinating stuff.
     
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  18. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Battlefield wanderer

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    If you have ever played Call of Duty 4 (ahem! I've only ever watched my son playing it ;-)) then the next photos will be a familiar sight. This is the amusement Park that was never used. It was due to open on May 1st 1986 but the catastrophic nuclear disaster that occurred just 5 days earlier put a stop to that.

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    While we were at the amusement Park our guide suggested we put our handheld Geiger counters, that he had loaned to us, near the sewer access covers. Needless to say they went berserk as the radioactive material that was washed away from the streets by the liquidators is still down in the cities sewer system.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
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  19. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Battlefield wanderer

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    After visiting Pripyat we jumped back in our tour bus and headed a few miles up the road to the once top secret over the horizon radar array system called Duga. The largest of the two antennas measures 500mtrs long and 150mtrs high and was used as an earlier warning system by the Soviet Union in case of an attack from the west.

    Amateur radio enthusiasts in the west called it the 'Russian Woodpecker' due to the unusual sound that it emitted over the airwaves.

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