Twenty-eight years ago on April 26, nuclear disaster struck in the former Soviet Union.
An explosion and subsequent fire at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine released radioactive materials into the atmosphere, resulting in the most expensive and deadliest nuclear disaster in history.
In 2009, Timm Suess visited what he calls “ground zero of the 1986 accident,” the now-abandoned town of Pripyat near the Chernobyl power plant. This town and its inhabitants — mostly power plant workers and their families — were the main victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
The actual town of Chernobyl was farther from the power plant than Pripyat — about 10 miles — but it was also affected by the nuclear diaster. Still, Suess wrote wrote after his trip in March 2009, “Chernobyl is a more lively place than you might imagine: Nowadays it is repopulated with 500 people, many of them scientists.”
With its high radiation levels, however, the area still poses danger to its inhabitants. Consequently, those found within the radiation zone fall into either of two categories: “radiophobes” and “radioenthusiasts.”
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