Chernobyl clean up

Decontamination of Pripyat, Chernobyl clean up operation

The term “liquidator” is now used to describe workers who entered areas designated as “contaminated” between 1986 and 1989 to help reduce the consequences of the explosion.

chernobyl clean up

The terrible tragedy of Chernobyl collected many victims. Serious victims cost and decontamination of Pripyat, as many liquidators of the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion received a large share of radiation. Now the expediency of these works is a lot of disputes, because already in May 1986 it was clear that it would not be possible to live the old life in Pripyat. Nevertheless, decontamination helped to avoid the massive spread of radioactive objects outside the exclusion zone, although looters find what to profit until now.


To begin with, let us estimate the scale of the work. Here is the post-accident image of Pripyat – this is spring or the beginning of the summer of 1986; almost all the city hit the photo. As you can see, Pripyat was very small and compact – 5 microdistricts, each of which was a large block. The whole city is similar in size to the sleeping microdistrict of such a city as Minsk or Kiev. Nevertheless, the decontamination work was quite voluminous, because it was necessary to take out the radioactive soil – even in such a small territory this amounts to hundreds of tons.

Pripyat clean up

Now let’s look at this card. On it you can see the city’s location relative to the Chernobyl NPP, plus on the map I marked the city’s microdistricts, as well as the main streams for which the radioactive emissions were diverging. To some extent, Pripyat was lucky – in the days of the accident, the wind developed in such a way that the main radioactive masses circled the city from two sides, forming two lines of high radiation contamination, later called the Northern and Western tracks. Even taking this into account, the exposition background in Pripyat by the evening of April 26 averaged 1 roentgen per hour (approximately 70-100 thousand times higher than the norm); you can imagine what the background would be in Pripyat, if the streams went directly to the city.

Almost immediately after the accident the city acquired a “special status” of a closed settlement. In order to get to Pripyat, you had to have a special pass; they were at different levels of admission – “Pass to Chernobyl”, “Pass to Pripyat”, “Pass everywhere”. Documents were checked at the entrance to the city; to get to Pripyat by an accidental person at that time was absolutely unreal.

chernobyl clean up

Chernobyl clean up plan

All zeak activation measures can be divided into two main types of work: washing buildings from traces of radioactive dust and cleaning up the soil – all the main works fall under these two categories, plus we also add the removal of items to the cemetery by a separate item. The photo below shows the decontamination of the hostels of the Jupiter plant; as can be understood from the map – in those parts of the city the background was quite high (and in general, in the area of “Jupiter” even now it is quite dirty).

Pripyat clean up

The buildings were washed with the help of such special fire engines that gave the necessary pressure. Concerning what they washed, I came across different versions. Someone writes that it was ordinary water, and someone says that it was a special polymer compound, which when dried, turned into a kind of analogue of the film that bound the dust and which could then be collected as garbage.

Photo of the process of laundering. As you can see, the jet is strong enough to finish off to the upper floors of a typical nine-story house. I think that the force of pressure had to be adjusted depending on the height – after all, a jet of such force, which finishes up to the upper floors, you can easily knock out the glass of the lower floors.

Pripyat clean up

Chernobyl clean up video

Chernobyl clean up after disaster

Another part of the work (much larger) was the removal of radioactive soil and, apparently, was carried out after the cleaning of buildings. The ground everywhere was collected differently. Somewhere such graders used to cut the soil were used.

Chernobyl how did they clean up ?

Gathering of soil in trucks in one of the yards.

Control measurements of the radiation of the deactivated territory, apparently this is some sort of kindergarten. Interesting details on the photo – the windows of the presumed kindergarten for some reason are covered with a film, and in the windows of the last floor of a high-rise building in the background somehow there are no glasses. At the expense of the film there is such an assumption – a kindergarten was used as a hostel for liquidators in the spring and summer of 1986, and the film served as an additional filter from dust. Pripyat

Chernobyl abandoned and radioactive vehicles see here

Chernobyl clean up footage. Clean up for chernobyl

Chernobyl clean up crew