At 1.23 in the morning of 26 April 1986 a catastrophic event began that would alter and destroy lives for years to come and change the world’s perception of nuclear safety forever. THE CHERNOBYL DISASTER BEGAN AT REACTOR No. 4!
An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, which spread over much of the western USSR and Europe. Among other life-changing events, this caused the whole area to be evacuated permanently and an exclusion zone was established. The effects have been well-documented and if you like a good story that casts a concerning shadow over subsequent activity (illicit dealings included) in the region, check out Martin Cruz Smith’s excellent novel ‘Wolves Eat Dogs’ set in the region circa 2004.
The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ) has become a wonderful haven for wildlife and there appear so far to have been little adverse affects to the myriad creatures and flora that have flourished there, even to the mice in the destroyed reactor and the swallows that breed there year after year.
This article records that Brown Bears may now have returned. Without diminishing the horror of the event and its miserable consequences, it will nevertheless be exciting to see how wildlife develops in coming years in the unique CEZ – contaminated by radiation by not by humankind.