Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

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Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
(Зона відчуження
Чорнобильської АЕС
(in Ukrainian))
Zone of Alienation, 30 kilometre Zone
Exclusion area and disaster area
Three small buildings beside a road. The road is blocked with a white and red striped gate and a yellow and red sign reads "KPP Dytyatki" in Ukrainian
Entrance to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone at Checkpoint "Dytyatky"
Official name: Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Zone of Alienation
Named for: The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant after the disaster
Country  Ukraine
Oblasts  Kiev Oblast,  Zhytomyr Oblast
Raions Ivankiv Raion (includes former Chernobyl Raion), Poliske Raion, Narodychi Raion
Borders on Belarus, Polesie State Radioecological Reserve
Cities Chernobyl, Pripyat, Poliske
Landmarks Kopachi, Red Forest
Buildings Duga radar, Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and sarcophagus
River Pripyat River
Coordinates 51°18′00″N 30°00′18″E / 51.3°N 30.005°E / 51.3; 30.005Coordinates: 51°18′00″N 30°00′18″E / 51.3°N 30.005°E / 51.3; 30.005
Area 2,600 km2 (1,004 sq mi)
Population The Exclusion Zone is an "Area of Absolute (Mandatory) Resettlement".

A few hundred samosely have been permitted to remain. Employees of state agencies are resident in the Zone on a temporary basis[1][2]

Founded 27 April 1986 (27 April 1986) (Current borders Established circa. 1997)
Management State Agency of Ukraine on the Exclusion Zone Management, part of State Emergency Service of Ukraine
Government Government of Ukraine
 - location Kiev, Ukraine
For public Not accessible to the public without permission. Permission can be requested in writing in advance[3] or arranged with a tour operator.
Timezone EET (UTC+2)
 - summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Located in northern Kyiv Oblast, which is to the north of Kyiv in Ukraine, bordering Belarus
1996 Chernobyl radiation map from CIA - 600 kilometres wide (former border)
Map of Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.svg
Map of The Zone, in northern Kiev Oblast
Wikimedia Commons: Chernobyl disaster

The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Zone of Alienation (Ukrainian: Зона відчуження Чорнобильської АЕС, zona vidchuzhennya Chornobyl's'koyi AES, Russian: Зона отчуждения Чернобыльской АЭС, zona otchuzhdenya Chernobyl'skoyi AES) is an officially designated exclusion zone around the site of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster.[4]:p.4–5:p.49f.3 It is also commonly known as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, the 30 Kilometre Zone, or simply The Zone[4]:p.2–5 (Ukrainian: Чорнобильська зона, Chornobyl's'ka zona, Russian: Чернобыльская зона, Chernobyl'skaya zona).

Established by the USSR military soon after the 1986 disaster, it initially existed as an area of 30 km radius from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant designated for evacuation and placed under military control.[5][6] Its borders have since been altered to cover a larger area of Ukraine. The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone borders a separately administered area, the Polesie State Radioecological Reserve, to the north, in Belarus. The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is managed by an agency of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, while the power plant and its sarcophagus (and replacement) are administered separately.

The Exclusion Zone covers an area of approximately 2,600 km2 (1,000 sq mi)[7] in Ukraine immediately surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power plant where radioactive contamination from fallout is highest and public access and inhabitation are restricted. Other areas of compulsory resettlement and voluntary relocation not part of the restricted exclusion zone exist in the surrounding areas and throughout Ukraine.[8]

The Exclusion Zone's purpose is to restrict access to hazardous areas, reduce the spread of radiological contamination and conduct radiological and ecological monitoring activities.[9] Today the Exclusion Zone is one of the most radioactively contaminated areas in the world and draws significant scientific interest for the high levels of radiation exposure in the environment, as well as increasing interest from tourists.[10]

Geographically, it includes the northernmost raions (districts) of the Kiev and Zhytomyr oblasts (regions) of Ukraine.


Before 1986[edit]

A tree in an odd shape, somewhat like a trident. In the background is the power plant
The oak Partisan's Tree or Cross Tree. The power plant can be seen in the background.

Historically and geographically, the zone is the heartland of the Polesia region. This predominantly rural woodland and marshland area was once home to 120,000 people living in the cities of Chernobyl and Pripyat as well as 187 smaller communities,[11] but is now mostly uninhabited. All settlements remain designated on geographic maps but marked as нежил. (nezhyl.) - "uninhabited". The woodland in the area around Pripyat was a focal point of partisan resistance during the Second World War, experience of which allowed evacuated residents to evade guards and return.[6] In the woodland near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant stood the 'Partisan's Tree' or 'Cross Tree', which was used to hang captured partisans. The tree fell down due to age in 1996 and a memorial now stands at its location.

Setup of the Exclusion Zone[edit]

10-kilometre and 30-kilometre Zones[edit]

The Exclusion Zone was established soon after the Chernobyl disaster on 2 May 1986 (1986-05-02), when a USSR government commission headed by Nikolai Ryzhkov[7]:4 decided on a "rather arbitrary"[5]:161 area of a 30-kilometre radius from Reactor 4 as the designated evacuation area. The 30 km Zone was initially divided into three subzones: the area immediately adjacent to Reactor 4, an area of approximately 10 km radius from the reactor and the remaining 30 km zone. Protective clothing and available facilities varied between these subzones.[5]

Later in 1986, after updated maps of the contaminated areas were produced, the zone was split into three areas to designate further evacuation areas based on the revised dose limit of 100 mSv.[7]:4

  • the "Black Zone" (over 200 µSv·h−1), to which evacuees were never to return
  • the "Red Zone" (50–200 µSv·h−1) where evacuees might return once radiation levels normalized
  • the "Blue Zone" (30–50 µSv·h−1) where children and pregnant women were evacuated starting in the summer of 1986

Special permission for access and full military control was put in place in later 1986.[5] Although evacuations were not immediate, 91,200 people were eventually evacuated from these zones.[6]:104

In November 1986, control over activities in the zone was given to the new production association Kombinat. Based in the evacuated city of Chernobyl, the association's responsibility was to operate the power plant, decontaminate the 30 km zone, supply materials and goods to the zone, and construct housing outside the new town of Slavutych for the power plant personnel and their families.[5]:162

In March 1989, a "Safe Living Concept" was created for people living in contaminated zones beyond the exclusion zone in Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia.[4]:p.49 In October 1989, the Soviet government requested assistance from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to assess the "Soviet Safe Living Concept" for inhabitants of contaminated areas.[4]:p.52 "Throughout the Soviet period, an image of containment was partially achieved through selective resettlements and territorial delineations of contaminated zones."[4]:p.49

After Independence[edit]

Earth Observing-1 image of the reactor and surrounding area in April 2009

In February 1991, the law On The Legal Status of the Territory Exposed to the Radioactive Contamination resulting from the ChNPP Accident was passed, updating the borders of the exclusion zone and defining obligatory and voluntary resettlement areas, and areas for enhanced monitoring. The borders were based on soil deposits of strontium-90, caesium-137 and plutonium as well as the calculated dose rate (sieverts/h) as identified by the National Commission for Radiation Protection of Ukraine.[12] Responsibility for monitoring and coordination of activities in the exclusion zone was given to the Ministry of Chernobyl Affairs.

Map of Chernobyl and Pripyat radiation zone 1

In depth studies were conducted from 1992–93, culminating the updating of the 1991 law followed by further evacuations from the Polesia area.[7] A number of evacuation zones were determined; the "Exclusion Zone", the "Zone of Absolute (Mandatory) Resettlement" and the "Zone of Guaranteed Voluntary Resettlement", as well as many areas throughout Ukraine designated as areas for radiation monitoring.[8] The evacuation of contaminated areas outside of the exclusion zone continued in both the compulsory and voluntary resettlement areas, with 53,000 people evacuated from areas in Ukraine from 1990 to 1995.[6]

After Ukrainian Independence, funding for the policing and protection of the zone was initially limited, resulting in even further settling by samosely (returnees) and other illegal intrusion.[1][2]

In 1997 the areas of Poliske and Narodychi, which had been evacuated, were added to the existing area of the exclusion zone and the zone now encompasses the exclusion zone and parts of the zone of Absolute (Mandatory) Resettlement of an area of approximately 2,600 km2.[7] This Zone was placed under management of the 'Administration of the exclusion zone and the zone of absolute (mandatory) resettlement' within the Ministry of Emergencies.

On 15 December 2000 all nuclear power production at the power plant was ceased after an official ceremony with then President Leonid Kuchma when the last remaining operational reactor, number 3, was shut down.[13] Power for the ongoing decommissioning work and the zone is now provided by a newly built[which?] oil-fueled power station.[citation needed]

The exclusion zone is now evacuated save for a small number of samosely (returnees or self settlers). Areas outside the exclusion zone designated for voluntary resettlement continue[when?] to be evacuated.[citation needed]

People in the Zone[edit]


Abandoned living blocks in Pripyat.

The zone is estimated to be home to 197 samosely[14] living in 11 villages as well as the town of Pripyat.[15] This number is in decline, down from previous estimates of 314 in 2007 and 1,200 in 1986.[15] These residents are senior citizens, with an average age of 63.[15] After recurrent attempts at expulsion, the authorities became reconciled to their presence and have allowed them limited supporting services. Residents are now informally permitted to stay by the Ukrainian government.

Approximately 3,000 people work in the Zone of Alienation on various tasks, such as the construction of the New Safe Confinement, the ongoing decommissioning of the reactors, and assessment and monitoring of the conditions in the zone. Employees do not live inside the zone, but work shifts there. Some of the workers work "4-3" shifts (four days on, three off), while others work 15 days on, 15 off.[16] Other workers commute into the zone daily from Slavutych. The duration of shifts is counted strictly for reasons involving pension and healthcare. Everyone employed in the Zone is monitored for internal bio-accumulation of radioactive elements.

Chernobyl town, located outside of the 10 km exclusion zone, was evacuated following the accident, but now serves as a base to support the workers within the exclusion zone. Its amenities include administrative buildings, general stores, a canteen, a hotel, and a bus station. Unlike other areas within the exclusion zone, Chernobyl town is actively maintained by workers, such as lawn areas being mowed and autumn leaves being collected.

Access and tourism[edit]

Entrance into the Zone of Alienation.

There have been growing numbers of visitors to the exclusion zone each year and there are now daily trips from Kiev offered by multiple companies. In addition, multiple day excursions can be easily arranged with Ukrainian tour operators. Most overnight tourists stay in a hotel within the town of Chernobyl, which is located within the exclusion zone. According an exclusion area tour guide, as of 2017, there are approximately 50 licensed exclusion area tour guides in total working for approximately 9 companies. Visitors must present their passports when entering the exclusion zone, and are screened for radiation when exiting both at the 10 km checkpoint and at the 30 km checkpoint.

The exclusion zone can also be entered if an application is made directly to the zone administration department.

Some evacuated residents of Pripyat have established a remembrance tradition, which includes annual visits to former homes and schools.[17] In the Chernobyl zone, there is one operating Eastern Orthodox Christian church, St. Elijah Church, notable for its very low radiation levels, which, according to Chernobyl disaster liquidators, are "well below the level across the zone", a fact that president of the Ukrainian Chernobyl Union, Yury Andreyev, considers miraculous.[18][19]

The Chernobyl exclusion zone has been accessible to interested parties such as scientists and journalists since the zone was created. An early example was Elena Filatova's online account of her alleged solo bike ride through the zone. This gained her internet fame, but was later alleged to be fictional, as a guide claimed Filatova was part of an official tour group. Regardless, her story drew the attention of millions to the nuclear catastrophe.[20] After Filatova's visit in 2004, a number of papers such as The Guardian[21] and The New York Times[22] began to produce reports on tours to the zone.

Tourism to the area became more common after Pripyat was featured in popular video games: S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Fans of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise, who refer to themselves as "stalkers", often gain access to the Zone.[23] (Both the name "the Zone" and the term "stalker" derive from Andrei Tarkovsky's film Stalker (film), which predates the Chernobyl disaster but describes a similar setting.) Prosecution of trespassers became more severe after a significant increase in trespassing in the exclusion zone. An article in the penal code of Ukraine was specially introduced,[24][25] and horse patrols were added to protect the zone's perimeter.

In 2012, journalist Andrew Blackwell published Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places. Blackwell recounts his visit to the exclusion zone, when a guide and driver took him through the zone and to the reactor site.[26]

On 14 April 2013, the 32nd episode of the wildlife documentary TV program River Monsters (Atomic Assassin, Season 5, Episode 2) was broadcast featuring the host Jeremy Wade catching a wels catfish in the cooling pools of the Chernobyl power plant, at the heart of the exclusion zone.

On 16 February 2014, an episode of the British motoring TV programme Top Gear was broadcast featuring two of the presenters, Jeremy Clarkson and James May, driving into the exclusion zone.

Illegal activities[edit]

The poaching of game, illegal logging, and metal salvage have been problems within the zone.[27] Despite police control, intruders started infiltrating the perimeter to remove potentially contaminated materials, from televisions to toilet seats, especially in Pripyat, where the residents of about 30 high rise apartment buildings had to leave all of their belongings behind. In 2007, the Ukrainian government adopted more severe criminal and administrative penalties for illegal activities in the alienation zone,[28] as well as reinforced units assigned to these tasks. The introduced Przewalski's horse population has reportedly fallen since 2005, due to poaching.[29]

Management of the Zone[edit]


State Agency of Ukraine on the Exclusion Zone Management
Державне агентство України з управління зоною відчуження
State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management.png
Agency overview
Formed 6 April 2011 (2011-04-06)
Preceding Agency
  • State Department - Administration of the exclusion zone and the zone of absolute (mandatory) resettlement
Jurisdiction Government of Ukraine
Headquarters Kiev and Chernobyl
Parent department Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources
Key document

In April 2011 the State Agency of Ukraine on the Exclusion Zone Management (SAEZ) became the successor to the State Department - Administration of the exclusion zone and the zone of absolute (mandatory) resettlement according to presidential decree.[9] The SAEZ is, as its predecessor, an agency within the State Emergency Service of Ukraine. Policing of the Zone is conducted by special units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and, along the border with Belarus, by the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. It is partly excluded from regular civil rule. Any residential, civil or business activities in the zone are legally prohibited.[citation needed] The only officially recognized exceptions are the functioning of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and scientific installations related to the studies of nuclear safety.[citation needed]

The SAEZ is tasked with the following:[9]

  • Conducting environmental and radiation monitoring of the Zone;
  • Management of long term storage and disposal of radioactive wastes.
  • Leases land in the Exclusion Zone and the Zone of absolute (mandatory) resettlement.
  • Administrates the State Fund of radioactive wastes Management.
  • Monitoring and preserving of documentation that describes the subject of radioactive wastes, warning signs, fences, etc.
  • Coordinator of the decommissioning of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
  • Oversees a register of persons suffered as a result of the Chernobyl disaster.

The decree also includes the task to "prevent corruption" (see corruption in Ukraine)

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant is located inside the Zone of Alienation but is administered separately. Plant personnel, 3,800 workers as of 2009, reside primarily in Slavutych, a specially-built remote city in the Kiev Oblast outside of the Exclusion Zone, 45 km (28 mi) east of the accident site.


There are 11 checkpoints[30]

Development and recovery projects[edit]

As of 2010 the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is exclusively an environmental recovery area, with efforts devoted to remediation and re-enclosure of the reactor site. Environmental advocates have recommended making less contaminated portions of the site permanently off limits to allow for wildlife recovery and a habitat reserve.[31][needs update]

The oldest and most recognized vision of the zone’s future is a research and industrial ground for developing nuclear technologies, including technology of nuclear wastes disposal.[citation needed] Permanent waste facilities are already being constructed in the zone, although these projects suffer from environmental and business concerns.

There are growing calls for wider economic and social revival of the territories around the disaster zone. For instance, special technologies are suggested for agriculture and energy projects that would avoid the danger of proliferating polluted material. The most vocal advocate of such revival was the then President Viktor Yuschenko who has expressed[when?] his deep concerns with the exclusion of polluted territories from the society and economy of Ukraine.

In November 2007 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for "recovery and sustainable development" of the areas affected by the Chernobyl accident. Commenting on the issue, UN Development Programme officials mentioned the plans to achieve “self-reliance” of the local population, “agriculture revival” and development of eco-tourism.[32]

However, it is not clear whether such plans of UN and Yuschenko deal with the zone of alienation proper, or only with the other three zones around the disaster site where contamination is less intense and restrictions on the population looser (such as the district of Narodychi in Zhytomyrska Oblast).

For several years,[when?] tour operators have been bringing tourists inside the 30 km exclusion zone. Tourists are accompanied by tour guides at all times and are not able to wander too far on their own due to the presence of several radioactive "hot spots". Tourists can visit the abandoned town of Pripyat and view its overgrown streets.[citation needed]

In 2017, three companies were reported developing plans for solar farms within the Chernobyl exclusion zone.[33] The high feed-in tariffs offered, the availability of land, and easy access to transmission lines (which formerly ran to the nuclear power station) have all been noted as beneficial to citing a solar farming.

Radioactive contamination[edit]

The territory of the zone is polluted unevenly. Spots of hyperintensive pollution were created first by wind and rain spreading radioactive dust at the time of the accident, and subsequently by numerous burial sites for various material and equipment used in decontamination. Zone authorities pay attention to protecting such spots from tourists, scrap hunters and wildfires, but admit that some dangerous burial sites remain unmapped and known only by memories of the liquidators.

Flora and fauna[edit]

A wild fox being fed by a tourist in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

There has been an ongoing scientific debate about the extent to which flora and fauna of the zone were affected by the radioactive contamination that followed the accident.

Near the facility, a dense cloud of radioactive dust killed off a large area of pine trees; the rusty orange color of the dead trees led to the nickname "The Red Forest" (Рудий ліс). The Red Forest was among the world's most radioactive places; to reduce the hazard, the Red Forest was bulldozed and the highly irradiated wood was buried, though the soil continues to emit significant radiation.

Cases of mutant deformity in animals of the zone include partial albinism and other external malformations in swallows[34][35][36] and insect mutations.[37] A study of several hundred birds belonging to 48 different species also demonstrated that birds inhabiting highly radioactively contaminated areas had smaller brains compared to birds from clean areas.[38] There have been claims of other animal mutations from individual eyewitness reports, although none have been verified.

A reduction in the density and the abundance of animals in highly radioactively contaminated areas has been demonstrated for several taxa, including birds,[39][40] insects and spiders,[41] and mammals. [42] In birds, which are an efficient bioindicator, species diversity decreases 50 percent in radioactively contaminated areas compared to clean areas, while abundance decreases by two thirds.

There have been reports that wildlife has since flourished due to significant reduction of human interference.[43] For this reason, the zone is considered by some as a classic example of an involuntary park. Some claim that the populations of traditional Polesian animals (such as wolves, badger, wild boar, roe deer, white-tailed eagle, black stork, western marsh harrier, short-eared owl, red deer, moose, great egret, whooper swan, least weasel, common kestrel and beaver) have multiplied enormously and begun expanding outside the zone. These claims, however, are not substantiated by any systematic census of any animal taxon.[44]

The area also houses herds of wisent (European bison, native to the area) and Przewalski's horses (foreign to the area, as tarpan was the native wild horse) released there after the accident. Some accounts refer to the reappearance of extremely rare native lynx, and there are videos of brown bears and their cubs, an animal not seen in the area for more than a century.[45] Special game warden units are organized to protect and control them. No scientific study has been conducted on the population dynamics of these species.

The rivers and lakes of the zone pose a significant threat of spreading polluted silt during spring floods. They are systematically secured by dikes.

Grass and forest fires[edit]

It is known that fires can make radioactivity mobile again.[46][47][48][49] In particular V.I. Yoschenko et al. reported on the possibility of increased mobility of caesium, strontium, and plutonium due to grass and forest fires.[50] As an experiment, fires were set and the levels of the radioactivity in the air downwind of these fires was measured.

Grass and forest fires have happened inside the contaminated zone, releasing radioactive fallout into the atmosphere. In 1986 a series of fires destroyed 2,336 ha (5,772 acres) of forest, and several other fires have since burned within the 30 km (19 mi) zone. A serious fire in early May 1992 affected 500 ha (1,240 acres) of land, including 270 ha (670 acres) of forest. This resulted in a great increase in the levels of caesium-137 in airborne dust.[46][51][52][53]

In 2010, a series of wildfires affected contaminated areas, specifically the surroundings of Bryansk and border regions with Belarus and Ukraine.[54] The Russian government claims that there has been no discernible increase in radiation levels, while Greenpeace accuses the government of denial.[54]

Current state of the ecosystem[edit]

Despite the negative effect of the disaster on human life, many scientists see a likely beneficial effect to the ecosystem. Though the immediate and subsequent effects were devastating, the area quickly recovered and is today seen as very healthy. The lack of people in the area is another factor that has been named as helping to increase the biodiversity of the exclusion zone in the years since the disaster.[55]

In the aftermath of the disaster, radiation in the air had a decidedly negative effect on the fauna, vegetation, rivers, lakes, and groundwater of the area. The radiation resulted in deaths among coniferous plants, soil invertebrates, and mammals, as well as a decline in reproductive numbers among both plants and animals.[56]

The surrounding forest was covered in radioactive particles, resulting in the death of 400 hectares of the most immediate pine trees, though radiation damage can be found in an area of tens of thousands of hectares.[57] An additional concern is that as the dead trees in this Red Forest (named for the color of the dead pines) decay, radiation is leaking into the groundwater.[58]

Despite all this, Professor Nick Beresford, an expert on Chernobyl and ecology, said that “the overall affect was positive” for the wildlife in the area.[59] The radiation essentially sped up the evolutionary process, as the area's wildlife had to adapt or die, meaning weaker species who were unable to adapt quickly died off leaving only the stronger members of the ecosystem, ones without growth and reproduction problems.[55]

The impact of radiation on individual animals has not been studied, but cameras in the area have captured evidence of a resurgence of the mammalian population – including rare animals such as the lynx and the endangered European bison.[59]

Research on the health of Chernobyl’s wildlife is ongoing, and there is concern that the wildlife still suffers from some of the negative effects of the radiation exposure. Though it will be years before researchers collect the necessary data to fully understand the effects, for now, the area is essentially one of Europe's largest nature preserves.


The industrial, transport, and residential infrastructure has been largely crumbling since the 1986 evacuation. There are at least 800 known "burial grounds" (Ukrainian singular: mohyl'nyk) for the contaminated vehicles with hundreds of abandoned military vehicles and helicopters. River ships and barges lie in the abandoned port of Chernobyl. The port can easily be seen in satellite images of the area.[60] The Jupiter Factory, one of the largest buildings in the zone, was in use until 1996 but has since been abandoned and its condition is deteriorating.

The railway line to the zone of alienation at Slavutych station

However, the infrastructure immediately used by the existing nuclear-related installations is maintained and developed, such as the railway link to the outside world from the Semykhody station used by the power plant.[61]


The Chernobyl-2 site (a.k.a. "The Russian Woodpecker") is a former Soviet military installation relatively close to the power plant, consisting of a gigantic transmitter and receiver belonging to the Duga-3 over-the-horizon radar system.[62] Located 2 km from the surface area of Chernobyl-2 is a large underground complex that was used for anti-missile defense, space surveillance and communication, and research.[63] Military units were stationed there.[63]

Media depictions[edit]

  • The 2015 documentary The Russian Woodpecker, which won the Grand Jury Prize for World Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival,[68] has extensive footage from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and focuses on a conspiracy theory behind the disaster and the nearby Duga radar installation
  • The 2012 film Chernobyl Diaries is set in the exclusion zone. The horror movie follows a tour group that become stranded in Pripyat, and their encounters with creatures mutated by radioactive exposure.
  • In 2011, Guillaume Herbaut and Bruno Masi created the web documentary La Zone, funded by CNC, and Agat Films. The documentary explores the communities and individuals that still inhabit or visit the exclusion zone.[69]
  • The PBS program Nature aired on 19 October 2011, its documentary Radioactive Wolves which explores the return to nature which has occurred in the exclusion zone among wolves and other wildlife.[70]
  • In the 2011 film Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Chernobyl is depicted when the autobots investigate suspected alien activity.
  • 2011: the award-winning short film Seven Years of Winter[71][72] was filmed under the direction of Marcus Schwenzel in 2011.[73] In his short film the filmmaker tells the drama of the orphan Andrej, which is sent into the nuclear environment by his brother Artjom in order to ransack the abandoned homes .[74] 2015 the film received the Award for Best Film from the Uranium International Film Festival.[75]
  • The video game series S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, released in 2007, recreates parts of the zone from source photographs and in-person visits (bridges, railways, buildings, compounds, abandoned vehicles), albeit taking some artistic license regarding the geography of the Zone for gameplay reasons.[76]
  • In the 2007 video game Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, two missions, i.e. "All Ghillied Up" and "One Shot, One Kill" take place in Pripyat.
  • 1999: UK photographer John Darwell (1955– ) was among the first foreigners to photograph, for three weeks in late 1999, within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, including in Pripyat, in numerous villages, a landfill site, and people continuing to live within the Zone. This resulted in an exhibition and book Legacy: Photographs inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Stockport: Dewi Lewis, 2001. ISBN 978-1-899235-58-2. Visits have since been made by numerous other documentary and art photographers.
  • 1993: the official video for Pink Floyd's "Marooned" features scenes of the town of Pripyat.
  • 1986: Immediately after the explosion on 26 April 1986, Russian photographer Igor Kostin (1936–2015) photographed and reported on the event, getting the first pictures from the air, then for the next twenty years he continued visit the area to document the political and personal stories of those impacted by the disaster, publishing a book of photos Chernobyl : confessions of a reporter[77]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Чернобыльскую зону "захватывают" самоселы". 28 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  2. ^ a b "Секреты Чернобыля - "Самоселы"". Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  3. ^ "ORDER MOE of Ukraine on November 2, 2011 № 1157 approving the visiting of the exclusion zone and zone of unconditional (mandatory) resettlement". 2 November 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Petryna, Adriana (2002). Life Exposed: Biological Citizens after Chernobyl. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-09019-1. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Marples, David R. (1988). The Social Impact of the Chernobyl Disaster. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-02432-0. 
  6. ^ a b c d Mould, R. F. (2000). Chernobyl Record: The Definitive History of the Chernobyl Catastrophe. Bristol, UK: Institute of Physics Publishing. ISBN 0-7503-0670-X. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Bondarkov, Mikhail D.; Boris Ya. Oskolkov; Sergey P. Gaschak; Sergey I. Kireev; Andrey M. Maksimenko; Nikolai I. Proskura; G. Timothy Jannik (2011). Environmental Radiation Monitoring in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone - History and Results 25 Years After. US: Savannah River National Laboratory / Savannah River Nuclear Solutions. 
  8. ^ a b "Zoning of radioactively contaminated territory of Ukraine according to actual regulations". ICRIN. 2004. Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c "Decree of the President of Ukraine № 393/2011 On approval of the State Agency of Ukraine of the Exclusion Zone". 6 April 2011. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  10. ^ "Postcard from hell". The Guardian. 18 October 2004. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  11. ^ International Atomic Energy Agency. "IAEA Frequently Asked Chernobyl Questions". Archived from the original on 23 February 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  12. ^ Nasvit, O. (1998). "Legislation in Ukraine about the Radiological Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident". Research Activities abtou the Radiological Consequences of the Chernobyl NPS Accideent and Social Activities to Assist the Sufferers by the Accident, KURRI-KR-21, Research Reactor Institute, Kyoto University 注. 25: 51–57. 
  13. ^ "IAEA's Power Reactor Information System polled in May 2008 reports shut down for units 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively". Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  14. ^ URA-Inform (28 August 2012). "ChernobylZone squatter captured". URS-Inform. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
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External links[edit]

News and publications[edit]

BBC's ongoing coverage[edit]

Other reliable sources[edit]

Images from inside the Zone[edit]