Lost Places - Chornobyl Zone

Pripyat, Chornobyl area and other abandoned places

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Chornobyl Zone. Summer 2010

Chornobyl Zone. Summer 2010
After visit on the former over-the-horizon radar station "Chernobyl-2", we go in (again former) Pripyat cargo port. I was in this place and photographed majestic pelican-like port cranes many times. And also Evgenie Samoilov, participant of elimination of the consequences of the accident - 86 and simply a good person, has written four years ago remarkable memoirs of the work in Pripyat port after failure. On the way to port we have decided to stop off near a tiny cemetery of homestead Pidlisnyj. This homestead for a long time was a source of mess and Zone riddles. Old residents do not remember such homestead, on maps is not present at all, but on its place quite safely exists PZRO (point of radioactive waste disposal) "Podlesnoe" - the boring concreted platform with boxes for RAW (radioactive waste) with activity from 5 to 250 R/h. Everything has cleared up, when I got the military charts of these places of 30th years of the last century. It was found that directly on a place where now present PZRO there was a tiny homestead Janiv. But after the Second World War railway station Janiv has got own settlement to which have given the name of Janiv, and to homestead, accordingly (to get rid of mess) the name have taken away and have given the new one, neutral "Pidlisne" (can be translated as Underwood). Well and when in 1969 ChNPP have started to build in these places, it has at all pulling down. Many of the first builders of ChNPP and the city Pripyat remember this tiny homestead surrounded by apple-tree gardens.

We leave the car (gamma background - 500 mcR/h) and we go on a cemetery (all that remains from Janiv-Pidlisnyj homestead). On a roadside a picture absolutely different, languid peep of dosimeters passes in a monotonous buzz (10-15 mR/h - usual level for these places).

cemetery of homestead Pidlisnyj cemetery of homestead Pidlisnyj cemetery of homestead Pidlisnyj

In the distance behind trees ChNPP is seen. It is hardly more than one and a half kilometers to 4th unit. Northern trace. High concentration of transuranium elements. There was no decontamination here. On a cemetery alternately with sepulchral crosses there are yellow-black triangular signs of radiation hazard. There are no wreaths, no ugly plastic flowers... Nobody goes to visit tombs here. I lingered a little, photographing the obelisk with a star shoot through by bullets. Who was buried here? Who and for what shot at a monument?..

Port. Cranes.
Actually the Pripyat cargo port has not been launched at full capacity before failure (had not enough time), and after failure from four cranes only one worked. This same crane, at the left photo. A photo in the centre - a view from a capsule.

Pripyat cargo port Pripyat cargo port Pripyat cargo port

In May, 1986 the capsule hardly managed to be washed from level 8 R/h to 2-3 R/h. Now in a cabin of the crane the gamma background is no more then 100 mcR/h, but needs only to rise on a dirty with machine oil crane arm and level at once sharply skips till 15-20 mR/h

Pripyat cargo port Pripyat cargo port Pripyat cargo port

That’s all for today. Everybody has got tired and are overflowed with impressions. We go to Chornobyl to have supper. Evening walk across Chornobyl to ChREB (former repair base of the Dnieper flotillas). We sit on a deck of a rusty tugboat and look at the stellar sky.

Morning of next day. A shower, coffee, a cigarette. We go through station Janiv to Novoshepelychi. We leave the road to the former unloading terminal of railway station Janiv.

railway station Janiv railway station Janiv railway station Janiv

I was interested only in abandoned BAT-M. in Novoshepelychi. Have found, have photographed, go back.
- And what is the turn? 
- Lets go and see.

We draw from asphalt on a gravel path. After pair kilometers gravel comes to an end and we go simply across the field. A field, wood, a field, again wood... Oh! There were dilapidated small houses on the horizon. There is neither GPS nor maps at hand... Accompanied with efficient hum gadflies, jumping up on hummocks, we slowly drive to a village. And after all I know it! I just entered it contrariwise.

- And here now at the left there will be a club, shop and a monument.

Yes, indeed. This is Stari Shepelychi. Last time I was here four years ago and entered the village from Retchitsa side.

Stari Shepelychi Stari Shepelychi Stari Shepelychi
Stari Shepelychi Stari Shepelychi Stari Shepelychi
We are turned around and go towards Rechitsa. We turn on Nova Krasnytsya and we go towards the city Pripyat. On road we do a stop near Novoshepelychi forestry enterprise. Last time I was here three years ago. Everything without changes: pastoral small houses under a tile, gamma background 1,5 - 3 mR/h, in a high grass underfoot rustle lizards and grass snakes.

We pass station Janiv and we turn aside to Pripyat.

For today our program is finished.

July, 2010. Chernobyl Zone of Alienation. 35оC in the shadow, hot.



WebLost Places

Lost Places Lost Places

Die Sperrzone von Tschornobyl

By Yevgen KRANZ Goncharenko

Book Preview