This was a very long day, we left Kiev at 8 AM and arrived back in Kiev at 8.30 PM, very tired, hungry and longing for a cold beer. The Chernobyl zone has been closed since the accident in April 1986 and only the workers have been able to access the zone. In 2011 the first tourists was allowed to visit the area. Now there are groups coming every day. For security reasons we got strict orders to wear clothes that covered the body and proper shoes and socks. We also got told not to touch anything, not to sit down, not to put anything on the ground or to eat or drink outside the bus.
Chernobyl area is divided in two zones; the 10 km zone closest to the power plant and the outer 30 km zone. As soon as we entered the 10 km zone all the dosimeters started to beeping. The dosimeter starts beeping at 0.3, the limit value. But at some places, the so called hot spots the radioactivity is far higher than that. The highest value we found during the day was 30.0, 100 times higher than the okay value.
They built a capsule to cover the power plant 30 years ago. In November 2016 they covered the capsule with a new layer. The radioactivity is now less 200 meters from the building than at the hot spots further away from the building. We would never have thought that we actually could be this close to the reactor.
The nature in the zone looks completely normal; green, jungle like with lots of flower and birds. It is difficult to grasp that a danger that can kill you is luring, a danger that we cannot see, feel or hear.
Four times during the day we all had to check our radioactive levels in big body scanners. All in our group was cleared every time.
The places we visited that looked most like what we had expected was the villages and the towns of Pripyat and Chernobyl. We could see ghostlike houses a banded in a rush, empty, partly trashed and the streets taken over by big trees and grass. But the most ghostlike places were the bath houses, the schools, the shops and the big fair ground. There is a lot to say about this disaster. To get the picture we recommend you to look up at a documentary on line.