The Chernobyl forest. These trees are deeply sick. Their branches were twisted by high levels of ionized radiation.
Strangely, the Chernobyl area is gradually becoming a sort of natural park. With the evacuation of humans, nature is back in charge.
A Pravda from 1988 – two years after the catastrophe. Tens of thousands of Soviet citizens worked for years to reduce contamination levels arising from the Chernobyl plant. Thousands developed cancer later.
Duga-3 was a gigantic early warning radar for the anti-ballistic missile defenses of the USSR in the 1970s and 1980s. The only similar radar ever built, near the Amur river in Siberia, has long been dismantled.
Located only a few kilometers from the nuclear plant, Duga-3 is about 160 meters high and 500 meters wide. It has not been scrapped because its metal remains contaminated by radiation.
It is possible (but not too safe) to climb the Duga-3 radar.
A diary entry from 1984. Countless personal objects were left behind when the Chernobyl area was evacuated.
A highly contaminated kindergarten. This is common dirt mixed with radioactive dust.
Pripyat had 50,000 inhabitants when it was abandoned.
Once a cinema hall, now the relic of a bygone era.
Gas-protective masks, abundantly available in Pripyat, were not enough to provide defense against radionuclides.
While most of what you see is the direct result of the 1986 evacuation, later visitors to Pripyat also left their marks.
The cooling tower is a Modern Coliseum of sorts.
Acoustics are extraordinary inside the Reactor 5 cooling tower. Shout anything and you’ll hear your voice reverberating for several seconds.
Reaching another contaminated junkyard near the reactors.
At the office of the Jupiter plant’s manager.
1980s music. Now silent.
Café Pripyat was probably the place to be 30 years ago.
Yes, there are fish and other forms of life in the lake, but they are too toxic for human consumption.
A collective dormitory.
Entering a 16-floor residential building.
“And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day” (Jude 1:6-7)
All pictures by Thomaz Napoleão Photography.