Today marks the 33rd anniversary of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster.
During a safety test that occurred in the evening between 25th and 26th April, Chernobyl’s number 4 nuclear reactor experienced a meltdown. That meltdown would not only carve the name Chernobyl into the history books, but change the landscape of the then Soviet Union, now Ukraine, forever.
Except, not really.
While Chernobyl and the nearby town of Pripyat have been somewhat abandoned for many years, the area has become something of a tourist destination. For a few hundred Euros you can not only visit Chernobyl but also go into the nuclear power plant.
Crazy? It sure is, but it is something that is most definitely on my bucket list of things to do.
Aside from the lesson of what happens when nuclear power goes incredibly wrong, the story of Chernobyl is fascinating. So on the 33rd anniversary of the disaster we’d like to share five videos that we feel give you insight into what Chernobyl is like today.
For starters we think your fears about radioactive humans leaving Chernobyl should be allayed so for that, Tom Scott explains.
Something you might’ve heard about Chernobyl is that once humanity abandoned the area, wild life flourished.
While in some areas that might be the case, in other, hotter zones (areas which are still incredibly contaminated) that isn’t always the case.
This video from The New York Times about wildlife around Chernobyl is rather interesting.
For something slightly NSFW and with more guns, we also recommend Vice’s short doccie below.
As we mentioned, Chernobyl has become something of a tourist attraction and plugging “Chernobyl tours” into Google will give you myriad results.
The fact of the matter is that there is nowhere in the world quite like Chernobyl. That’s not to say that there aren’t any other disaster zones but very rarely do we get to see the weight of humanity’s destruction.
Once again, Vice takes a look at tourism inside the exclusion zone.
We’ve saved the best for last. While all of these videos do an excellent job of showcasing Chernobyl, the video below from Veritasium, we feel, captures that feeling of isolation, danger and humble acceptance that humanity caused this disaster wonderfully.
We have one final video to share with you.
Following the disaster, reactor number four was enclosed in a sarcophagus but over time the weakness of the structure became problematic.
In 2016 the Chernobyl New Safe Confinement Sarcophagus began sliding into place. The mammoth structure could not be built over the reactor and instead had to built away from it and then slid into place.
Construction took six years and moving it into place took 15 days.
To close out your digital journey through Chernobyl enjoy this timelapse of the New Safe Confinement Sarcophagus being moved into place.
[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]