Ukrainian Wildfires May Bring Chernobyl's Radiation Back to Life

The legacy of the world's worst nuclear accident lives on—and it might be causing new problems, according to researchers from the Norwegian Institute for Air Research. » 2/09/15 7:35am 2/09/15 7:35am

Take a Tour of the Most Radioactive Places on Earth

People do some pretty dumb things for YouTube videos. Derek Muller does them for the sake of science, though. The host of Veritasium, a YouTube channel about science, recently visited the most radioactive places on Earth for a TV show about how Uranium and radioactivity affected the modern world. And he lived to tell… » 12/20/14 10:00am 12/20/14 10:00am

Chernobyl never looked more post-apocalypic than in this new drone film

Filmmaker Danny Cook went earlier this year to Pripyat—an abandoned city near Chernobyl, Ukraine—and captured this new amazing footage. It's the closest that, hopefully, you will ever see to a post-apocalyptic city, 28 years after the catastrophe that has killed about 200,000 people since then. » 11/27/14 12:15am 11/27/14 12:15am

A man returns to Chernobyl after leaving decades ago

This is the music video for It's Alright, by Fractures, filmed in location in Chernobyl, Ukraine, right after the Maidan revolution that shook that country. It's not as visually or musically powerful as Paolo Nutini's Iron Sky, but I like the overall tone. » 10/23/14 12:24am 10/23/14 12:24am

The Myth of an Untouched Chernobyl

Chernobyl's desolation is ruin porn's hallowed ground. But photographer Darmon Richter says the image of an abandoned Soviet city, untouched since its nuclear disaster, is a carefully-constructed facade, a powerful and profitable myth perpetuated by the moneymakers of dark tourism. » 10/01/14 3:45pm 10/01/14 3:45pm

Radioactive boars from Chernobyl are still wandering around Germany

Nearly 30 years later, radiation from Chernobyl still scars the landscape. Perhaps most remarkably, some of that radiation traveled hundreds of miles downwind, settled into the soil, and moved up through the food chain. So now we have radioactive wild boars, still roaming around Germany causing trouble. » 9/03/14 11:16am 9/03/14 11:16am

Resilient Birds In Chernobyl Are Actually Adapting to Radiation

Chernobyl is a scary, seemingly sinister place, where trees don't decay and plants glow. A newly published study, however, shows that not all living things are necessarily doomed in this radioactive wasteland. Some birds in the exclusion zone are actually adapting to the harsh environment. » 4/28/14 4:24pm 4/28/14 4:24pm

In this week's Landscape Reads, we visit the giant, steel sarcophagus that will soon encase Chernobyl, go inside the battle for "solar rights," pay tribute to the blazing fires that created the American prairie, and follow the secret highway crossings of bears. » 4/28/14 4:00pm 4/28/14 4:00pm

Chernobyl's Steel Radiation Shield Is the Biggest Moving Structure Ever

In the normal world, it's what you'd call a bad investment: Spending $2 billion to build the largest moveable structure ever—and knowing that it won't work for longer than 100 years. But in Chernobyl, it's the best available option for protecting a whole continent from the worst nuclear disaster in history. » 4/28/14 1:40pm 4/28/14 1:40pm

The Woods Around Chernobyl Aren't Decaying

Like a landscape of the undead, the woods outside Chernobyl are having trouble decomposing. The catastrophic meltdown and ensuing radiation blast of April 1986 has had long-term effects on the very soil and ground cover of the forested region, essentially leaving the dead trees and leaf litter unable to decompose. The… » 3/17/14 12:12pm 3/17/14 12:12pm

This Massive Steel Structure Will Entomb Chernobyl's Reactor 4

When an unexpected power surge sparked the world's worst nuclear accident in Chernobyl, nearly a quarter of a million construction workers risked their lives to build an ad hoc "sarcophagus" of concrete around the stricken reactor. It was a stop-gap measure—and now, almost 3o years later, one of the biggest… » 11/29/13 11:30am 11/29/13 11:30am

Why Can People Live in Hiroshima and Nagasaki Now, But Not Chernobyl?

On August 6 and 9, 1945, U.S. airmen dropped the nuclear bombs Little Boy and Fat Man on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On April 26, 1986, the number four reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukraine exploded. » 10/24/13 4:45am 10/24/13 4:45am

Japanese Government Finds Areas Around Fukushima More Dangerous than…

You know what happens when 168 Hiroshima bombs' worth of radioactive crap is released in one spot? It's going to leave a mark. The Japanese gov's released a map that shows 34 locales surrounding Fukushima are worse than Chernobyl's threshold. » 8/30/11 9:40am 8/30/11 9:40am

What Would It Take To Evacuate a Nuclear Meltdown?

The U.S.' nuclear plants are getting older, becoming more unstable with age even as we demand more power of them. Meanwhile, population growth around these powerhouses has sky-rocketed, by as much as a factor of four in some places. Say you live in one of these cities. In the event of an emergency, how likely is it… » 6/27/11 9:00pm 6/27/11 9:00pm

Chernobyl, 25 Years Later

Twenty-five years ago today, the sky fell on a corner of Ukraine. The Chernobyl nuclear plant, a symbol of man's triumph over the atom and the pride of a nation, experienced a system failure so complete, so devastating, that it left an irreparable wasteland in its wake. Explosions rang out. Radioactive smoke stained… » 4/26/11 12:30pm 4/26/11 12:30pm

25 Years Ago Today, the Atomic Age Ended

Twenty-five years ago today, the sky fell on a corner of Ukraine. The Chernobyl nuclear plant, a symbol of man's triumph over the atom and the pride of a nation, experienced a system failure so complete, so devastating, that it left an irreparable wasteland in its wake. Explosions rang out. Radioactive smoke stained… » 4/26/11 12:30pm 4/26/11 12:30pm

Everything You Ever Wanted to Read about Chernobyl

With everything that's happened in Japan in past months, it's no surprise that world—and Web—is keenly aware of today's ominous anniversary. From incredible galleries to deep analysis, here's the most impressive Chernobyl coverage we've seen: » 4/26/11 12:30pm 4/26/11 12:30pm

Fukushima Radiation Leaks Could Surpass Chernobyl's

TEPCO reps say something we never thought we'd hear them admit: on the heels of the Fukishima crisis being bumped up to a Chernobyl-grade 7, officials say still-leaking plant could ultimately release more radiation than its Russian counterpart. [Kyodo News] » 4/12/11 10:42am 4/12/11 10:42am

Chernobyl Kids Video Is One Part Unnerving, Two Parts Sad, and Three…

No, I'm not going to draw any parallels to Fukushima because there are none. And no, there are no Chernobyl kids with a dozen eyes or giant legs , but this film is so charged with symbolism and sadness that it needs its own titanic concrete sarcophagus. » 3/24/11 8:40pm 3/24/11 8:40pm

Radiation Dosage Chart

The guys over at XKCD created this wonderful chart detailing the amount of radiation you get from just living your daily life and how it compares with the radiation dosages in scary disasters. It's comprehensive, informative and serves as a great reference point given Japan's current situation. » 3/20/11 1:00pm 3/20/11 1:00pm