Photos: The Price Of Chernobyl

  • The April 26, 1986, accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant created ghost towns in Ukraine. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from surrounding areas. Dozens of villages and properties remain empty, like this abandoned house, seen in 2006, in the deserted village of Redkova, about 22 miles from the plant.
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    The April 26, 1986, accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant created ghost towns in Ukraine. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from surrounding areas. Dozens of villages and properties remain empty, like this abandoned house, seen in 2006, in the deserted village of Redkova, about 22 miles from the plant.
    Sergey Ponomarev/AP
  • Ukrainian youngsters prepare a net for illegal fishing in contaminated waters in the village of Zorin, near the 19-mile exclusion zone around the Chernobyl plant, in 2006. The Chernobyl explosion spread a plume of radioactive smoke across thousands of square miles.
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    Ukrainian youngsters prepare a net for illegal fishing in contaminated waters in the village of Zorin, near the 19-mile exclusion zone around the Chernobyl plant, in 2006. The Chernobyl explosion spread a plume of radioactive smoke across thousands of square miles.
    Oded Balilty/AP
  • The Chernobyl power plant is still operational. Here, a worker waits on a train in Slavutich, Ukraine, on his way to the plant in 2006. After the 1986 accident, about 50,000 residents of the nearby city of Pripyat were evacuated. Slavutich, located about 37 miles from the plant, was built to house displaced workers and their families.
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    The Chernobyl power plant is still operational. Here, a worker waits on a train in Slavutich, Ukraine, on his way to the plant in 2006. After the 1986 accident, about 50,000 residents of the nearby city of Pripyat were evacuated. Slavutich, located about 37 miles from the plant, was built to house displaced workers and their families.
    Oded Balilty/AP
  • The control room of the damaged No. 4 reactor.
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    The control room of the damaged No. 4 reactor.
    Efrem Lukatsky/AP
  • The No. 4 reactor is now encased in a sarcophagus designed to keep radioactive material isolated. The government of Ukraine is trying to raise funds for the construction of a huge new building that will cover the aging sarcophagus.
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    The No. 4 reactor is now encased in a sarcophagus designed to keep radioactive material isolated. The government of Ukraine is trying to raise funds for the construction of a huge new building that will cover the aging sarcophagus.
    AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
  • Workers at the Chernobyl plant check their hands and feet for radioactive contamination at the end of the day before boarding the train home in 2009.
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    Workers at the Chernobyl plant check their hands and feet for radioactive contamination at the end of the day before boarding the train home in 2009.
    Michael Forster Rothbart/AP
  • Viktor Gaidak with his wife, Lydia, in their apartment in the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine, in April 2007. Gaidak worked for 24 years as an engineer at the Chernobyl plant, including nine years after the accident. Here, he shows his scar from a 2004 surgery for colon cancer.
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    Viktor Gaidak with his wife, Lydia, in their apartment in the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine, in April 2007. Gaidak worked for 24 years as an engineer at the Chernobyl plant, including nine years after the accident. Here, he shows his scar from a 2004 surgery for colon cancer.
    Michael Forster Rothbart/AP
  • Zinayida Trofimivna Huzienko, 93, talks to her dog inside her home in the village of Ilintsi in 2006. She lives illegally inside the exclusion zone around Chernobyl. Scientists say the area around the plant will not be safe for human habitation for up to 900 years.
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    Zinayida Trofimivna Huzienko, 93, talks to her dog inside her home in the village of Ilintsi in 2006. She lives illegally inside the exclusion zone around Chernobyl. Scientists say the area around the plant will not be safe for human habitation for up to 900 years.
    Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
  • Ivan Semenyuk, 75, and his wife, Maria, 73, stand outside their house in the largely abandoned village of Paryshiv, inside the exclusion zone, in March 2011.
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    Ivan Semenyuk, 75, and his wife, Maria, 73, stand outside their house in the largely abandoned village of Paryshiv, inside the exclusion zone, in March 2011.
    Sergei Supinksy/AFP/Getty Images
  • Ganna Zavorotnya, 78, carries her tools as she walks to her vegetable garden in Kupovate, inside the exclusion zone, in April 2011.
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    Ganna Zavorotnya, 78, carries her tools as she walks to her vegetable garden in Kupovate, inside the exclusion zone, in April 2011.
    Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images

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