Experts return to devastated Chornobyl area

State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management

Experts were able to return to Chornobyl* for the first time since the Russian military seized the defunct, and highly radioactive, Chornobyl site. According to the State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management (DAZV) they traversed extremely difficult conditions — including destroyed bridges and roadways — and have taken photographs of the first part of their journey.

Scene of a meltdown and explosion of one of the civilian nuclear reactors, parts of the site like the Red Forest within the Exclusion Zone, remain highly contaminated to this day. Certain areas are too dangerous to go to, even for highly trained personnel. The site currently has no operating reactors.

In the first few weeks of the Russian incursion the Zone and surrounding communities were occupied, cut off from aid, electricity, food, and communication, according to the DAZV. There was “Constant shelling, destruction, pressure on the population and killings. Many employees of the Chornobyl zone enterprises found themselves in their occupied homes after the urgent evacuation from the enterprises.”

The DAZV, claims there are “bitter losses” within the almost 6,000 employees, and states that they will be giving more detailed information soon.

DAZV also again states that some Russian soldiers, digging in the Red Forest, left due to radiation sickness. They are reportedly being treated at a medical facility in Belarus.

Photo credit: DAZV website

*A note on the spelling of “Chornobyl”. While the more familiar English spelling is “Chernobyl,” the Ukrainian spelling in English, closest to the word’s pronunciation and meaning, is “Chornobyl.” Beyond Nuclear will therefore be using the Ukrainian spelling from now on. However, when republishing external articles, we are not at liberty to edit their choice of spelling.

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