Chernobyl: Why the Town in Ukraine That is Unlivable for the Next 20,000 Years

Have you ever heard of a place on Earth that is considered to be unlivable for the next 20,000 years? Because of the long-lived radiation that resulted from the tragic incident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Pripyat, Ukraine, the entire region won’t be safe for human habitation for at least 20,000 years.

The incident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant is one of the biggest Nuclear events in history and it caused the biggest evacuation known to humanity. The power plant and the surrounding town is void of human life, where only the brave visit – and for short periods of time only. The entire town is completely abandoned, left for nature to take its course. The plant, the ghost towns of Pripyat and Chernobyl, and all the surrounding areas are known as the “zone of alienation” and are largely off-limits to humans.

This is the story of Chernobyl: what happened, what it means, and one elderly man’s account of that fateful day and his choice to return to live in the danger zone.

In light of the new HBO mini-series “Chernobyl,” premiering on May 6th, here is the back story to get you caught up.

A Dark Day in History

During the early morning hours of April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded. The Chernobyl Power Plant was built in the now abandoned town of Pripyat, Ukraine, North of Kiev. The incident was nothing short of devastating and the chain of events would lead to an evacuation of the whole city and the subsequent results of the radiation.

A Dark Day in History
Source: 28 Days Later

The event has been studied ever since. But even after years of scientific research and government investigation, there are still unanswered questions about the accident, especially regarding the long-term health impacts on those exposed to the radiation.