That is Chernobyl nuclear reactor number four.
It melted down on April 26, 1986.
So what happened was so much heat was generated inside that reactor that it basically blew
the top off spreading radioactive isotopes throughout this whole surrounding area and
over into Europe.
And that is why we can still detect the contamination here today.
And they covered it in that sarcophagus which is kind of crumbling as it ages.
And so they are actually building a brand new containment facility over here which,
when it is finished, will be slid over on top of the old containment, on top of the
The town of Pripyat was built just a few kilometers away from the reactor, mostly to house the
families of the people who worked there.
And now it is completely abandoned.
So now you can find all of these high rise Soviet apartments completely empty and crumbling
and the forest is basically reclaiming this whole town.
When the residents of Pripyat were told to evacuate they were told that they would only
be away for two weeks.
So they left most of their belongings exactly where they were and they never came back.
So their lives are on display here.
I am inside an old kindergarten and it is incredibly peaceful.
You know, you look around and it looks like a disaster has hit here.
But, mainly, what this shows is 30 years of weathering and no maintenance.
So things just fall apart.
The most insidious thing about radiation is how invisible it is.
You can’t feel it.
You can’t smell it or see it.
This could be pristine wilderness, but it is not.
It is a contaminated, deserted waste land.
This is what a real post-apocalyptic world looks like: abandoned buildings, over grown
streets, everything crumbling, rusting, breaking.
Near the reactor there is an area called the red forest, because after the accident, so
much radioactive material was dumped in that area that all the trees died.
And their leaves turned red, just like they do in autumn.
I am standing on the stage of the old Pripyat theater.
There is something about this place that just ... I can picture the scene.
I can picture it here: a packed house, all the great Russian productions that were staged
And you look around at all the old lights and the layers upon layers of walkways they
would have used.
This is a pretty amazing location.
This is my favorite place so far, nothing radioactive.
It is just an amazing look at the past of this place.
Everything is so recognizable and so familiar and yet it is being destroyed.
It is crumbling and nature is reclaiming this whole area.
This is what the world would look like if man disappeared one day all of a sudden.
This is what it would look like 30 years later.
I filmed this video while shooting a documentary for TV all about how uranium has shaped the
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