More pictures of radiation than you can shake a stick at.
July 21, 2014 2:53 PM   Subscribe

Three albums filled with hundreds of pictures of Pripyat and Chernobyl before and after the disaster.
posted by ilama (10 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
great set of pictures, especially the ones showing how people tried to "fix" the disaster
posted by pyramid termite at 3:30 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not to be pedantic, but aren't all pictures 'pictures of radiation?'
posted by Strass at 3:53 PM on July 21, 2014 [5 favorites]

I don't know, I can shake a stick at a fairly large number of pictures of radiation.
posted by Sangermaine at 4:51 PM on July 21, 2014

Great photos. And though it's a tired observation, this makes me want to play the STALKER games again. It's amazing how spot-on some of the game's renderings are, according to these pics.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:00 PM on July 21, 2014

Those "bio-robot" dudes in the last link, who had to run onto the roof in 40-second sorties, because there was so much radiation? Nope nope nope nope nope. Also, nope, huh-uh, and hell no.

It'd be fascinating to hear from those guys (if any of them are still around). What compelled them to accept such an insanely dangerous task?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:48 PM on July 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

What about the photo of the bio robot guy pushing a pram with a baby that was missed during the evacuation of the city? Wow.

I seem to recall seeing a show a few years ago where there was permission granted and they planted fixed cameras all around houses, plants, schools etc and captured what was happening in the region now. Anyone else recall this?
posted by Admira at 9:55 PM on July 21, 2014

Terrifying stuff.

I cannot imagine trying to build a containment unit around what is essentially hell on earth with lead aprons and tape. (Plus, the pile of goo they found later? I am no nuclear scientist, but I am pretty sure that nuclear fuel is not supposed to leak onto the floor like that.)

Roadside Picnic was written by the Strugatsky brothers in 1971, but they could just as well have been describing Pripyat. (For some reason I thought they published it after the accident, but I doubt very much they'd been able to. And I have the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, just haven't played them yet.)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:54 PM on July 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

All of the machinery and equipment used in the cleanup was gathered and buried in dumps spread across the zone.

Initially, many radioactive vehicles weren't buried, but were instead stored in vast fields.

Unfortunately, all that remains of this field today is the shell of the helicopters. Everything else has either been buried or stolen.
That "or stolen" gives me chills.
posted by argonauta at 6:47 AM on July 22, 2014

Be sure to follow this link to Andrew Leatherbarrow's story "Chernobyl". The pictures are from his investigation into the disaster.

From the preface, "I have written this book because there does not appear to be an accurate, accessible, detailed, comprehensive, yet focused and relatively brief account of what happened at the Chernobyl nuclear plant on the morning of the 26th of April 1986 and the months that followed."

The descriptions are graphic. As if they could really be anything else, given the subject.
posted by Zack_Replica at 10:10 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit, Roadside Picnic was inspired by the 1957 Kyshtym disaster, but there's no question that it shaped a lot of thinking about about the Chernobyl Zone of Alienation after the event.

I also find it amazing how clearly Tarkovsky's 1979 movie version, Stalker, depicts the reality of the Zone, despite the fact that it wouldn't exist for another 7 years.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 11:36 AM on July 23, 2014

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