In 2012, I visited Chernobyl because after hearing that people still lived there. We wanted to interview them for our 1,000 YEARS of WISDOM project. The accident that happened in 1986 has deeply wounded the environment and Ukrainian people. Pripyat’ town was built only a few years before the disaster, for young nuclear power station workers and their families. It was a hip place within a nature reserve with cinemas, cafes, hotels, discos and other attractions. On the day of the accident, people forced to evacuate taking only their documents with the promise they could come back in 3 days.
But there were not allowed to come back. Half of the surrounding villages were buried under the sand and others later became “the exclusion zone”. Normal radiation levels are 0.30… Some points in the zone still reach to 100. This is 300 times more than the safe levels. Surprisingly, some places in this tainted area have healthy radiation levels – hence some lucky (or unlucky) people were able to come back and live in isolation. Today, you need to present documents to go into the zone and must be accompanied by a guide who has to be young and healthy to do this kind of job every two weeks. You must be over 18 and enter during daylight.