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Chernobyl 20 years on

Meet the helicopter pilot who spent months flying through radioactive dust; the engineer who saw the first three men die; the family evacuated with 40 minutes' notice... Two decades after the world's worst man-made disaster, Adam Higginbotham enters the 30km exclusion zone.

Cross-country race in the Red Forest: Pripyat teenagers and the catastrophe

I remember this Saturday, 26 April 1986, very vividly. I was 16 then, a first-year student of the city’s professional school (SPTU). Early in the morning our parents took the train to Vilcha, 45 km far from Pripyat. My sister and I left the flat for out schools.

Chernobyl. During an ill conceived emergency systems test, meant to simulate a loss of power to the reactor from the grid, Chernobyl began to melt down.

The Gamma Cathedral

Discussions on the timescale for building a new set of nuclear reactors to power the future in lieu of oil led me to ponder timescales relating to our existing, shoddy, nuclear infrastructure.

Pripyat Ukraine, Pripyat River, Pripyat...

Ukrainian Prypyat (При́п'ять), Russian Pripyat (При́пять), abandoned city located in the north of Ukraine, near the Belarus border. Outside the city is the Chernobyl nuclear power station, site of the worst nuclear reactor accident in history. See Chernobyl accident.

Cheating Chernobyl

This interview was first published in New Scientist print edition

The Chernobyl Poems of Lyubov Sirota

During the ten years that I worked on my book, Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction, 1895-1984, I corresponded and spoke with experts from all over the world, and even traveled to the Soviet Union.