r2-smFor many people the Chernobyl tragedy became technological disaster that changed the world and once again proved the man that he is not yet the ruler over the laws of nature. And it seemed that for a long time all the known often opens another angle, puzzling, even the most enlightened minds of civilization. For the writer of these lines the Chernobyl accident 86-year became a vague memory of childhood, which duty comes to mind while talking to those who by reason of age or place of residence, have not seen a disaster, evacuation, did not experience those emotions and fear filled the apartments of Soviet citizens in those days of April. Chernobyl, despite all the terrible facts and evidence was something distant, something out there on the horizon, and for 27 years after the accident, the author of these lines, do not even think that he would go to the place where the event occurred, which divided the world for many in the before and after.

Visit to the area is a particular condition. Of course you realize that everything is safe and no one will be driving on hazardous sites. But the first words of the briefing, talking about clothes, shoes, make a security light in the confusion of thought. And just lying in the pocket dosimeter, like a faithful Colt, brings back peace of mind that if anything happen they will be warned and forearmed.


The road to the Chernobyl zone, not much differ from the trip around Ukraine. Along the path, stretching small towns and villages. New and old huts, something has fallen off, but something enviously sparkles new, standing out against the background of the autumn countryside. Hand spontaneously reaches out the dosimeter In an hour of journey. Halfway to the zone, the radiation background has not changed much from Kiev and at 0, 10 microsieverts per hour, and it’s even less than expected. At one time, even appears a sense that it is broken, and only chilling sound in the Zone and match options with other dosimeters, returns to the soul of petty person the sense of wisely spent money.
The bus stopped. We are on the threshold of Zone. Again instructed, again all about clothes, about the ban on photography at the checkpoint, and finally the name-check shows all the charming exclusive and restricted visiting seemingly serene for PPC land. So, the bus enters the Zone. Expected plenty of signs, abandoned villages not justified. Because Zone is not a Pandora’s box, full of troubles, it is only a place, besides pure places, there are those which are dangerous. Every 5 minutes the hand reaches out the dosimeter waiting to see leaping figures, warnings, but it’s still purring at 0, 1 microsieverts per hour, refusing to play the game – “I am in a dangerous place.”


The bus makes several turns and enters the city. Five-story buildings are floating by. They have signs of life. As explained later, they are still inhabited by Zone personnel. A derelict old wooden houses are different from their counterparts in other cities a whole glass, which is very unusual in the level of modern vandalism.

At the end of the Soviet street is the Walk of Fame. It is here, in front of the Eternal Flame, I look at dosimetr and see the dynamics of the first from the beginning of the day – 0.14 microsieverts, and after each puff of wind, the device rocks as old trees, giving 0, 15 -, 16 microsieverts per hour.

But alas, this is only half of the maximum permissible background radioactivity, and even in Kiev city center you can always find a place where the level of 2 times higher.

Journey to the Elias Church was a pleasant stroll through the city, which does not exist. Overgrown and abandoned houses, running gardens, and a sense of nostalgia for the days when there was full of people, full of life.

Walking through the city is fast becoming a familiar ethnographic journey, hunting with a camera for the views of the city or village absorbed by nature. Near the monument erected on the spot where the Germans in 1941, made a second Babi Yar, you keep walking through the bushes, forgetting caution and warning that not everywhere and not everything you can do here.


Satisfying curiosity, you can see small paved track that just did not notice in the heat of photo-hunting. When you get up on it you are immediately reminded that this is not just a city, and not the usual place. Dosimeter, the first time after purchase, explodes in pocket with a warning sound. At this point, thoughts immediately go back into place. When you raise the device-married metered dose 0, 3 microsieverts, but 0.4, alas not only dangerous, but an ordinary, even for a city level. From Chernobyl to Lelev-border checkpoint of 10 km zone – a few miles away. On the way, I remember how much I read and heard about the accident, not even hoping to see the place once tragic and heroic events of ’86. At the checkpoint there are signs of radiation and people with dosimeters test machines. After crossing the features of the window almost nothing has changed. The same forest, in the depths of which are guessed deserted villages. Only standing yellow triangles along the road, reminiscent of all the dangers inherent in this mysterious, but alas, no fairy-tale forest

ЗАМЕТКИ ЭКСТРЕМАЛЬНОГО ТУРИСТАThe station, that welcoming travelers with unfinished cooling tower (giant cooler), which once again confirms its scale. The territory of the nuclear power plant combines two opposites. On the one hand, the mass of unfinished and abandoned buildings, and on the other – almost perfect purity, met only in a model of military camps. After a small lunch in the dining room, the entrance to which is distinguished frame monitoring, quickly turns into an exotic tourist toy and better than any MOIDODIR message stating that you are clean, we go to the station itself, or rather a viewing platform from which you can see yourself and 4 block everything that happens around him.

On the way to the station, the level of radiation, which had already have time and forget, suddenly reminds himself alarming squeak dosimeter. A glance at the device, a second freezes. Familiar zero, before the digits disappeared somewhere. Now 3.2 microsieverts per hour, which is 10 times more than it was. These data changes every second. 4.0, 4.7, 5.0. The numbers fluctuate wildly, as you move the bus. You look through the window, and there, nothing has changed. Now I understand all the safety measures, and the relief is the fact that it only fleetingly, as the movement of vehicles. Opposite the station, the railway crosses our path dosimeter shows the limit – 7.4 microsieverts per hour. After that, the unit will not climb up and stops with every meter of the road decreasing the value on the screen until it freezes at 3.3 microsieverts.

And here it is – an observation deck. I don’t turn off the dosimeter. He’s like an alarm clock, arousing fear and thoughts filling sensation mysterious threat, the invisible, but nevertheless present. Soon the sound of dosimeter annoys everyone and it is turned off.


Almost immediately this place becomes a common platform before the large industrial facilities, is causing no fear rather interest.

This pipe, which has become perhaps the most recognizable symbol of Ukraine. But the roof, so close and distant, has become for many overseas before and after. And sarcophagus, built against the odds. Beside being built, a new shelter, already recognizable in the team for future columns and semicircular roof, holding out hope that Chernobyl will be remembered and will no longer threaten us. The bus begins its journey to the dead city of power engineers, a monument of warning to modern technological society.

Pripyat is different from anything seen before. A couple of hours ago, the village absorbed young forest, seemed perfectly natural, but the city … High-wall houses, sidewalks and alleys, all hidden behind the 3.5 meter shoots, HINDER photograph of a passing bus. But here’s a bright spot – the area. Immediately apparent high-rises, crowned arms of the Soviet Union, a restaurant, a club “Energy”, hotel “POLESYE.”

Somehow, immediately comes to mind as the night of 26 April 1986, people were running from here to the bridge, which would see the station. Already at the end of the mall, and not a lot, and before the eyes will view nuclear bubbling volcano. And here, after all you had read and experienced in childhood, memories come back or rather echoes of feelings: fear, excitement, interest.

You feel a tingling adrenaline that fills the body. Perhaps people come here for this feeling of power and the hopelessness, fear and at the same time, security. In Pripyat, the dosimeter safety lies in the pocket. Dose is small, at least gamma radiation. Even the moss is not dirtier then in Kiev. The time runs fast in Pripyat. The only thing you mention after some time spent in the zone, you start to calm down and take everything for granted. Maybe it is the feature of the human mind.

Here again, PPC, and again, has already become a familiar frame radiological control. On the way home, remembering all the emotions and feelings born area, you come to one conclusion – it is better to buy for 20 hryvnia energy-saving light bulb than watch for weeks through the window of the bus the forbidden for the next millennium nature.The second sense – is a desire to go back to see more, and learn about human error and of those who sacrificed their lives and health to correct them.