Visit Pripyat: Facts You Didn’t Know

The Chernobyl disaster is the largest man-made accident in human history. On the 26th of April, 1986, the world witnessed a terrible catastrophe, the consequences of which are still echoed. Still, some information about the disaster scares a lot of people who want to visit Chernobyl today. There are 5 shocking facts that very little people have heard about the exclusion zone.

Kyiv schoolchildren were forcibly driven to the 1st May demonstration, after which their costumes “emitted”

The Soviet leadership wanted to hold the Labor Day despite the previous events occured in April. According to the first president of Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk, the order to organize the holiday in Kiev immediately after the Chernobyl explosion came from Mikhail Gorbachev.

However, probably the worst episode around these events concerned schoolchildren – as long as a high radiation background was recorded on their costumes. During the preparation for the parade, schoolchildren were given training suits in which they rehearsed the program on April 27, 28, 29. From 3 days these costumes were handed over to schools. As it was known after, the clothes had a fairly high level of background, so the decontamination was necessary. Thus, even people who didn’t visit Pripyat and Chernobyl suffered from radiation.

The first serious accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant occurred in 1982

Although minor accidents and incidents occurred throughout most of the Chernobyl construction period, the first serious local accident at a nuclear power plant occurred in 1982, four years before the disaster. On the 14th of September, 1982, as a result of the accident at the 1st reactor, radioactive fuel fell into graphite masonry.

According to the report, as a result of the release of radioactive vapor through the ventilation pipe during the rain, there was local radiation contamination of the area with a radius of about 250 meters. Contaminated areas were washed with water, covered with soil and leaves, after which the radiation background decreased to normal.

Sweden was the first Western country to know about the accident

Probably the first in the world, apart from the Soviet officials, to learn about this tragedy were the staff of the Swedish Forsmark nuclear power station, despite the fact they didn’t visit Pripyat. 

On the 28th of April, there were heard sirens that manifested detected radiation in the air. Forsmark’s employees then conducted a detailed analysis and identified that the dangerous radioactive particles were brought by the wind from the Soviet Union. After that, Sweden has informed the globe about the catastrophe. However, the USSR authorities did not inform the residents about the accident until the evening of 28th – they would probably have tried to remain silent for a long time, but for the Swedes.

During the decade, 10 000 liquidator teeth were collected in Ukraine to assess the degree of irradiation

More than 526 thousand people took part in the liquidation of the Chernobyl accident. According to various estimates, from 50 to 100 thousand of them died. During the period from 1998 to 2011, there were collected 10 000 teeth for retrospective assessment of radiation doses. Half of them turned out to be suitable for this purpose.

If you want to make a Chernobyl visit, you’ll get a surprising bonus. In recent years there was created the Ukrainian system of collecting teeth, which operates in seven regions nowadays: Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, Poltava, Kharkiv, Cherkasy, Chernihiv and Kyiv. You have an opportunity to come and visit these laboratories to fully understand the scale of the accident.