Chernobyl exclusion zone

The Chernobyl exclusion zone – is the area affected by the Chernobyl 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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Chernobyl 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 the Soviet era, toys, posters, postcards, magazines and notebooks. In some places you can find parts of military equipment. This is a real museum of the Soviet era …

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The zone of alienation is contaminated with radionuclides and dangerous elements, the 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 the exclusion zone one can not find a place with an increased radiation background. Later, a zone of mandatory (unconditional resettlement), the 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 the explosion at the nuclear power plant, two radiation tracks were formed – north and west. These are the dirtiest places in the exclusion zone. The city of Pripyat was just between them, but still quite polluted and was decontaminated.

wxclusion zone map

On the territory of the 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 the exclusion zone is the city of Chernobyl. In Chernobyl, the administration of the exclusion zone (AZO) is located, which is the department of the Ministry for Emergency Situations. The number of personnel working in the exclusion zone and at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is about 5,000 people, about 3,000 live in Slavutich, the rest live in the Chernobyl town.

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Also in the zone 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.

The entire territory of the zone is guarded by the police to protect the zone of the Chernobyl NPP, it’s on foot, cars, horse patrols. Now the Chernobyl exclusion zone totals about 13 checkpoints. Due to the radiation background, the export of any type of products from the Chernobyl exclusion zone is prohibited.

chernobyl checkpoint

Сhernobyl exclusion zone map 
Chernobyl exclusion zone map

Chernobyl exclusion zone size: 2600 km2

Are there Chernobyl life in the dead zone?

The local population is the shift workers who come to temporary work in the Chernobyl zone. They live in a hostel. These are foresters, police, workers of Chernobyl NPP, 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 the government’s ban. These people have a life in Chernobyl now simple – a garden, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, less often – hunting. The average age of the population is more than 60 years, so hunting is not too popular here. The enterprises of the exclusion zone 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 in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone existed almost from the first day of the emergence of the Exclusion Zone and continues to this day. In the first years after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station, the 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 the Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion, many radioactive particles flew into the air. Emissions of radioactive substances were several times higher than after the explosion of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Now the radiation level in Chernobyl is 0.67 microsieverts per hour, which is 0.37 microsieverts higher than normal. For example, in Kiev and Moscow, the level of gamma radiation averages 0.11 microsievert per hour. In some places in the exclusion zone, the 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, the level of radiation in each of which varies significantly: Special zone (industrial site of the ChNPP), 10-kilometer and 30-kilometer zone. The highest level of radiation remains only inside the Sarcophagus. Some radioactive particles have now almost completely disintegrated. Strontium-90 and Cesium-137 have half-decay, the half-life of which is 29 and 30 years, respectively. But the Americas-241 and Plutonium-239 will remain for a long time in the Chernobyl zone: 40% of the territory of the Zone will retain a potential danger for another 24 thousand years. You can walk here, you can not live.


As soon as the level of radiation in the exclusion zone has decreased, it has become a popular tourist attraction, attracting people from all over the 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 the Zone, tourists receive radiation equivalent to air travel.

DUGA chernobyl

You can order the Chernobyl tour on our website