Austrian photographer Roland Verant has been frequently visiting the no-go zones in the abandoned nuclear power plant and has been taking a lot of pictures to show how the ruins of the town of Pripyat look like now since it was evacuated in 1986 following the Chernobyl accident.
The Chernobyl nuclear power station was previously owned by the Soviet Union until it was taken over by Northern Ukraine. A series of explosions and a fire led to an unfortunate accident that left the former USSR and parts of Europe in shambles with massive radioactive quantities.
The town of Pripyat was within the closest proximity to Chernobyl, where the majority of residents were the workers in the plant and their families.
An estimate of 50,000 inhabitants occupied the town, which served as an example of modern town planning and architecture at its time.
During the disaster, the residents were asked to evacuate and bring their most important possessions such as identity cards, jackets, and food. They were instructed to return after three days, not knowing how much the disaster left the plant devastated.
Until now, no one is allowed into the imposed disaster area. However, authorities are not so strict with some trespassers as a part of unofficial tours. According to their reports, beds are still made and cupboards in homes still contain foods. The Ferris wheel was supposed to be opened a month after the evacuation.
Based from the photos, the nature is slowly reclaiming Pripyat. Wolves can be often spotted roaming the streets, while rare eagles have started to roost in the surrounding forest. It looks like the disaster brought some positive effects on nature as populations of certain animals are starting to recover on what seems to be an enormous nature reserve.
After the disaster, trees have adapted to the new environment. Nonetheless, some suffer from problems due to the radiation, but the numbers have soared since the event.
A clerk for an insurance business in Vienna, Verant doesn’t sound like the adventurous type, but he has now spent a total of forty-two days inside the restricted area. He reported that his guide was equipped with a Geiger counter.
Graffiti artists also entered the restricted area as the town serves a blank canvass for them to freely express their art, especially that there is no government entity to stop them.
During the thirty years of vacancy, the town has undergone major changes, and looters have taken some historic items that have acquired some personal value over the years. The cold of winter and the heat of summer kept the town well-preserved.
By 2065, the Ukrainian government have made plans to clean the area up, while they passed its first law this 2010. However, the war in the east of the country and subsequent economic decline have put the plans on hold.