We departed from Kopachi, and our next stop had to be Chernobyl, the place that I imagine visiting so many times in the past. I did not know it yet, but our tour guide informed us that we were going there. At this point, I need to be honest with you; my emotions and thoughts were fully crafted when I watched the mini-series by HBO. I was excited to go there, even though the scenery will be different and nothing will be as it were.
It was not long, less than 10-minute drive, before seeing the Sarcophagus and the surrounding area. I was there; Sarcophagus was in my field of view. I was so anxious that I picked up my camera and started shooting even still being in the Van.
You can also see the river used to provide water to the power plant; the water level of the river is currently lower than it used to be. Of course, all creatures living in the river died.
I was standing just a few away of the old structure, viewing the entrance and the Sarcophagus, which is enormous. This Sarcophagus is the second one and was built a few hundred meters away and moved into place when it was completed. The first containment structure was created just above the reactor itself, unlike the second one. Per our tour guide, the first structure caused many health issues to the people who helped build it, and all were related to radiation.
Just outside the main entrance, a monument is standing tall dedicated to the victims of Chernobyl. Based on my research, many monuments and statues were built long after the disaster, and only when the press and/or movies/books described the actual events that took place. It makes me wonder why these heroes, who fought for all humanity, are not honoured. How many of us knew, the names, story, facts, about radiation, and the firemen, the liquidators, before the book/movie were published.
It makes me wonder when standing in front of that mega construction what was the cost, and I am not referring to the 2.15 Billion Euros, for the people of Chernobyl and the surrounding one hundred and fifty villages. Which was the "price" paid by the people who worked there to secure our planet?
Still, there is work to be done. There are many ongoing issues, and challenges that scientist and people together must face. One of these issues is the building in the photo below, which turns out to be, per our tour guide, a significant problem as if it collapses another severe contamination will occur from the dust that will rise; this still is a highly contaminated building.
If at Kopachi the radiation levels on the ground were 4.26μSv/h, how much radiation lays a few meters away from the Sarcophagus. Well, I too needed to find out so once more I placed my dosimeter on the ground, duh! The measurement showed 0.93 μSv/h, which is far less than the one at Kopachi!!!
Time to move one, as our tour guide pointed out. I will be returning to Chernobyl, that goes without saying!
Time for Pripyat!!!
See also, Post 4, Buried Village.