How strange, and yet so cool! Last night, Shannon, my sister, and I were talking over dinner, and conversation randomly led to us wondering what has happened around the Chernobyl disaster site. Then this morning, I randomly stumbled upon the site of Elena, a Kiev native who decided to take a motorcycle ride through the 2800 square kilometer nuclear exclusion zone that remains. She took a ton of pictures, documenting what can only be called this era’s Pompeii — homes, vehicles, oil tankers, entire factories that are frozen in time at April 26th, 1986. It probably wasn’t the smartest thing for Elena to expose herself to as much radiation as it looks like she did, but the photos that came out of the journey are amazing.


Hey, some people smoke cigarettes, some people ride through fascinating high-radiation areas on motorbikes. I know which I’d rather do. (erm, not that I do either, but you know what I’m saying)

• Posted by: Underblog on Mar 29, 2004, 9:29 PM

you are right, it was a very stupid thing of her to expose herself, especially since private vehicles (except those of some employees) are not allowed in the area. and when cars go through, their windows are up and sometimes even taped. why? as she puts it, there’s no “radiation” on the pavement. does she mean gamma waves, alpha particles or betas? what? i think she forgot about the radioactive dust, which is stirred up every time everytime there’s wind. yes, the dust and the ash that actually came out during the explosion. the same dust and ash that was carried to belarus and russia and scandinavia.

this, as well as a series of other facts (like her defamation of akimov, who tried to shut down the reactor according to the protocol, and not by pushing the wrong button), make me question the validity of her joyrides.

i grew up and was evacuated from pripyat in 1986. and when i was last in the zone 5 years ago, i certainly didn’t smile like she does in the pictures.

• Posted by: veronika on Mar 31, 2004, 2:07 PM

Elana was kind. Akimov was incompetent and you can see many records as this one at :

The head of the night shift, Alexander Akinhov, and the engineer responsible for industrial management, Anatoly Diatlov, do not believe that an accident has taken place. When somebody claims the core has exploded, they send out operators to examine the core. These people are killed by radiation. On hearing the report that the reactor has been destroyed Akimov cries out, “The reactor is OK, we have no problems.”

Akimov and Diatlov, assisted by manager Bryukhanov and engineer N.Fomin, keep ordering the operators to add more cooling water. They remain convinced that there is nothing wrong. Akimov and Toptunov, who was responsible for the control rods, both died of radiation illness. Diatlov and Fomin were both sentenced to ten years imprisonment for infringement of the safety regulations.

See this link for more of the real story. It is really grim.

Search on Vivisimo for “Chernobyl and Akimov” and you will find dozens of reports on the disaster and the efforts to cover it up. It seems that some are still trying to do that instead of getting on with life and doing something to clean up the region.

• Posted by: David on Apr 6, 2004, 2:59 PM
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