PRIPYAT BEFORE THE CATASTROPHE

These words are a lead in to pictures of the city, the world that the workers, and supporting services industries, of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Stations lived in before the fateful explosion of April 26, 1986 at 01:23 a.m.

Lyubov Sirota was one of the few on this barmy spring night to see the light bloom into the sky above the Nuclear Reactor. This sight, the growing unease over the next 36 hours—she was later to tell Professor Adolph Kharash 'Nobody knew anything', the horror of the bus evacuation and the pain and torment of the years to follow spawned the poems on the previous page.

To feel some of the torment that she fought and won, one has to realize the fear she held for her son and imagine the environment in which she had lived to this time.

The following photographs are the best I could gather of the Pripyat that was. This was before the age of digital photography and the scanners of the day were not up to current quality.

Despite these defects it is easy to see this beautiful Pripyat with its shining new buildings, the flowers, the children, the recreation facilities and the impressive planning of this city.

It was untouched to the eye, after the explosion, but it was poisoned to the core.

The Cause.
Chernobyl reactor number four after the disaster, showing the extensive
damage to the main reactor hall (image centre) and turbine building (image lower left)

AN ACCIDENT THAT CAN AND WILL OCCUR AGAIN...SOMEWHERE

Look and try to imagine what it would be like for this to happen to your town.

IMAGES OF PRIPYAT BEFORE 1986

HOME