Atomic Plant.

Usually, on this leg of the journey, a beeping geiger counter inspires to shift into high gear and streak through the area with great haste. The patch of trees in front of me is called red - or some call it 'magic" wood. In 1986, this wood glowed red with radiation. They cut them down and buried them under 1 meter of earth.

The readings on the asphalt paving is 50 to 300 times the radiation of a normal environment, depending upon where you stand. That is not bad. I saw worse. The magic will begin if I step 10 meters forward, geiger counter will run off the scale. If I continue walking towards the reactor few hundred meters then in terms of exposure to radiation it will be like travelling back in time to 1986, I will receive the same dose of radiation as liquidators. If I was to keep walking all the way to the reactor, I guess it would be no point to return. I could stay there forever, but if I decide to come back I would glow in the dark tonight. Maybe this is why they call it magic wood. It is sort of magical when one walks in with biker's leather and walks out like a knight in a shining armor.

Here is photo of this place in 1986.

This is the territory of the Atomic Power Plant. The geiger counter reading here is also 500-3000 microroentgen per hour.

The plant was closed down for good in 2000. They must build a new sarcophagus soon, because the original one was hastily constructed and is disintegrating.

What amount of the radiation inside of there had so far escaped? We don't know for sure. Many scientists believe that most of the radiation is still under sarcophagus. The remains of radioactive fuel inside has a name of "The Elephant Foot", it because of it's distinctive shape. About 190 tonnes of uranium and 1 ton of really dangerous Plutonium can be still there, so if the big, bad nuclear elephant ever sets its foot out, we'll be in very big trouble...

next page