‘Banned Zone’ Chernobyl Is Re-Mapped

35 years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, specialists from Ukraine and Germany are re-mapping radioactivity in the banned zone. A complete measurement like this was last performed in the 80s.

The banned zone around the nuclear power plant is more than 2500 square kilometres in size. With two helicopters and drones, experts measure radiation from a height of 100 metres. They cant get closer, because the radiation level directly above the sarcophagus, which envelops the nuclear reactor, is still dangerously high.

The work will last until Friday. The results will be presented at a conference in April 2022.

Still uninhabitable

The Chernobyl nuclear reactor exploded in April 1986 as a result of a miscarried test: errors caused an overreaction. A fire broke out after which a radioactive cloud struck large areas in the Soviet republics of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. Tens of thousands of residents of the nearby town of Pripjat were evacuated and closed off the area around the radioactive ruin.

The area is still officially uninhabitable, but Ukraine wants to make more economic use of the region. For example, it is accessible to tourists and the country would like to see the area become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.