Chernobyl exclusion zone

Chernobyl exclusion zone – is area affected by the disaster, over 2600 square kilometers in size, numbering several dozen abandoned villages, several burial grounds, many forests and fields.

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There is a lot of wild animals in the forests. There are many rivers, lakes and marshes here.

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Exclusion zone photos

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The cities and villages of this land were forever left in 1986 when their residents were forcibly resettled to other cities of Ukraine. In abandoned houses to this day you can find things of  Soviet era, toys, posters, postcards, magazines and notebooks. In some places you can find parts of military equipment. This is a real museum of Soviet era …

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The zone of alienation is contaminated with radionuclides and dangerous elements half-life of some of them has already occurred, and some will be dangerous for more than a thousand years.


In the beginning, 30 km. zone was created. Then 10 km. – the dirtiest place, but this does not mean that outside exclusion zone one can not find a place with an increased radiation background. Later, a zone of mandatory (unconditional resettlement), so-called second zone, was created. In her to this day, you can intend to have several hundred micro roentgen with a usual household dosimeter.

Chernobyl zone of alienation

After explosion at nuclear power plant, two radiation tracks were formed – north and west. These are dirtiest places in contaminated area. Pripyat was just between them, but still quite polluted and was decontaminated.

wxclusion zone map

On territory of zone now people work: Foresters, dosimetrists, firefighters, policemen, scientists, etc. all of them work on a shift basis.

bunker in chernobyl zone

The administrative center of exclusion zone is city Chernobyl. This city is the administration of contaminated area (AZO) is located, which is department of Ministry for Emergency Situations. Number of personnel working in Chornobyl zone and at CHnPP is about 5,000 people, about 3,000 live in Slavutich, rest live in Chornobyl town.

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Also there are self-settlers, people who did not want to leave their homes or those who could not live in new homes, there are no more than 300 people living in 11 abandoned settlements.

Entire territory is guarded by police to protect zone of ChNPP, it’s on foot, cars, horse patrols. Now exclusion zone totals about 13 checkpoints. Due to radiation background,  export any type of products from contaminated area is prohibited.

chernobyl checkpoint

exclusion zone map 
Chernobyl exclusion zone map

Chernobyl exclusion zone size: 2600 km2

Are there Chernobyl life in the dead zone?

Local population is shift workers who come to temporary work in zone. They live in a hostel. These are foresters, police, workers of ChNPP, dosimetrists, hotel and shop workers, scientists, environmentalists.

life in chernobyl

People who live there permanently return to Chernobyl. They are called self-settlers. They return despite government’s ban. These people have a life now simple – a garden, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, less often – hunting. Average age of population is more than 60 years, so hunting is not too popular here. Enterprises of contaminated area provide support to these people – they provide medical care, support the infrastructure, repair the buildings. All self-settlers living in contaminated areas.

Self-settlers chernobyl zone

Are there marauders in the Chernobyl zone?

Marauders here existed from the first day of the existence of this territory First years after the accident at ChNPP, marauders stole household appliances, furniture, carpets and all other valuables from Pripyat.

What are the radiation levels in the Chernobyl exclusion zone?

On April 26, 1986, after ChNPP reactor number 4 explosion, many radioactive particles flew into the air. Emissions of radioactive substances were several times higher than after explosion of atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Now radiation level in ChNPP is 0.67 microsieverts per hour, which is 0.37 microsieverts higher than normal. For example, in Kiev and Moscow, level of gamma radiation averages 0.11 microsievert per hour. In some places in the contaminated area, level of radiation is very high and dangerous for life. You can go to Chernobyl tour only with experienced guides.

Chernobyl exclusion zone

When will the chernobyl exclusion zone be safe?

The zone of alienation is divided into 3 sections,  level of radiation in each of which varies significantly: Special area (industrial site of ChNPP), 10-kilometer and 30-kilometer zone. Highest level of radiation remains only inside Sarcophagus. Some radioactive particles have now almost completely disintegrated. Strontium-90 and Cesium-137 have half-decay, half-life of which is 29 and 30 years, respectively. But Americas-241 and Plutonium-239 will remain for a long time in the Chernobyl: 40% of territory of Zone will retain a potential danger for another 24 thousand years. You can walk here, you can not live.


As soon as level of radiation in exclusion zone has decreased, it has become a popular tourist attraction, attracting people from all over world. Today there are only 2 legitimate ways to get to Chernobyl and Pripyat: with an excursion or an official delegation. All excursion routes are as safe as possible, and for 10 hours of stay in Zone, tourists receive radiation equivalent to air travel.

DUGA chernobyl

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