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There's A Cemetery Of Radioactive Vehicles Used In Clean Up Of Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

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There's A Cemetery Of Radioactive Vehicles Used In Clean Up Of Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

Despite the fact that the Chernobyl nuclear disaster unfolded back in 1986, the fallout continues to impact certain areas of the world to this day.

That includes a series of irradiated vehicles that were used in the clean-up operation, which remain as rusting relics in a cemetery located on the outskirts of the Chernobyl zone, near the village of Rossokha.

As you're no doubt aware, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant - in what is now Ukraine - suffered from a catastrophic accident on April 26 1986, and has been pretty much dormant ever since.

The explosion of Reactor Four is thought to have resulted in the deaths of thousands of people and left a 2,600km exclusion zone.

Credit: Sergei Supinsky/EPA/Shutterstock
Credit: Sergei Supinsky/EPA/Shutterstock

It's no secret that a huge amount of equipment - from buses and robots to tanks and helicopters - took part in dealing with the fallout of the accident.

Depending on the machine, they were deployed to either clean the radioactive debris scattered by the explosion, help with the construction of the Sarcophagus, a huge steel shelter structure created to cover the toxic reactor, or drop various materials into the collapse of the reactor.

According to Chernobyl Official Tours, despite the necessity to clean the equipment from radioactive dust and pollution, the metal was so contaminated that it would have posed serious health risks to anyone involved.


Government officials decided to instead bury the vehicles, including the fire engines that travelled to the power station on the night of the explosion.

Credit: Sergei Supinsky/EPA/Shutterstock
Credit: Sergei Supinsky/EPA/Shutterstock

However, it became too expensive an operation to bury every machine involved and so instead authorities decided to make sites to store the rest - the largest being the 20-hectare burial ground near Rossokha.

Prior to the explosion, over 400 people are reported to have lived here, but were evacuated to the village of Kolonshchina in the Makarovsky district to protect them from the radiation level, which exceeded 800 the normal times in the days succeeding the accident.


Right now the radiation is not as high, although several PTS's (Soviet tracked vehicles) and armoured carriers emit dangerous levels of radiation, at around 20-60 thousand MicroR per hour.

Chernobyl Official Tours goes on to point out that the 'dirty tracks' are what pose the most risk, as they were never cleaned after the disaster.

As you can see by the images, there are rows of military tanks, lorries, helicopters and vans that remain in the cemetery, all of which serve as an ominous reminder of the worst nuclear accident in history.

Words by Daisy Phillipson

Featured Image Credit: Chernobyl Exclusive Tours

Topics: nuclear, Ukraine, Chernobyl

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