Tag Archive for 'motorcycle'


Chernobyl power plantUPDATE: Appar­ent­ly, Miss Ele­na was­n’t com­plete­ly hon­est… how­ev­er, I still think it’s a fab­u­lous story.

In April of 1986, I was eight years old, and I have no rec­ol­lec­tion of the Cher­nobyl dis­as­ter. Yet, it’s hard to imag­ine any sin­gle event more dev­as­tat­ing than what hap­pened on April 25–26, 1986. Hun­dreds of thou­sands died, and many more were forced out of their homes in an instant, nev­er to return. Radi­a­tion flood­ed the air, land, and water around the site, form­ing a ‘dead zone’.

Albany Dan point­ed out a link on Fark to a first-per­son account of some­one who has ven­tured back into this ‘dead-zone’. Her name is Ele­na, and her sto­ries of motor­cy­cle rides to Cher­nobyl are fascinating.

As I pass through the check point, I feel that I have entered an unre­al world. In the dead zone, the silence of the vil­lages, roads, and woods seem to tell some­thing at me.…something that I strain to hear.…something that attracts and repels me both at the same time. It is divine­ly eerie — like step­ping into that Sal­vador Dali paint­ing with the drip­ping clocks.

The read­ings on the asphalt paving is 500 ‑3000 micro­roent­gens, depend­ing upon where you stand. That is 50 to 300 times the radi­a­tion of a nor­mal envi­ron­ment. If I step 10 meters for­ward, geiger counter will run off the scale. If I walk a few hun­dred meters towards the reac­tor, the radi­a­tion is 3 roent­gens per hour — which is 300,000 times nor­mal. If I was to keep walk­ing all the way to the reac­tor, I would glow in the dark tonight.

Her pho­tos are incred­i­ble. I can’t imag­ine hav­ing the courage to do what she’s done, but I’m glad to have learned more about what hap­pened in those days back in April, 1986.