What is Chernobyl: Definition and 47 Discussions

Chernobyl (, UK: , Russian: Чернобыль), also known as Chornobyl (Ukrainian: Чорнобиль, romanized: Chornobyl'; Polish: Czarnobyl), is a partially abandoned city in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, situated in the Vyshhorod Raion of northern Kyiv Oblast, Ukraine. Chernobyl is about 90 kilometres (60 mi) north of Kyiv, and 160 kilometres (100 mi) southwest of the Belarusian city of Gomel. Before its evacuation, the city had about 14,000 residents, while around 1,000 people live in the city today.
First mentioned as a ducal hunting lodge in 1193, the city has changed hands multiple times over the course of history. Jews were introduced to the city in the 16th century, and a now-defunct monastery was established near the city in 1626. By the end of the 18th century, Chernobyl was a major centre of Hasidic Judaism under the Twersky Dynasty, who left Chernobyl after the city was subject to pogroms in the early 20th century. The Jewish community was later murdered during the Holocaust. Chernobyl was chosen as the site of Ukraine's first nuclear power plant in 1972, located 15 kilometres (9 mi) north of the city, which opened in 1977. Chernobyl was evacuated on 5 May 1986, nine days after a catastrophic nuclear disaster at the plant, which was the largest nuclear disaster in history. Along with the residents of the nearby city of Pripyat, which was built as a home for the plant's workers, the population was relocated to the newly built city of Slavutych, and most have never returned.
The city was the administrative centre of Chernobyl Raion (district) from 1923. After the disaster, in 1988, the raion was dissolved and administration was transferred to the neighbouring Ivankiv Raion. Following the administrative reform of 18 July 2020, the city became part of Vyshhorod Raion.
Although Chernobyl is primarily a ghost town today, a small number of people still live there, in houses marked with signs that read, "Owner of this house lives here", and a small number of animals live there as well. Workers on watch and administrative personnel of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone are also stationed in the city. The city has two general stores and a hotel.

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  1. E

    Chernobyl Chernobyl tourism visit caused contamination?

    Hello, this is my first post but I don't know who else to ask. I realise my fears may be irrational but I can't get the thoughts out of my head and I am feeling very overwhelmed with anxiety. Last year I went on an organised tour in Europe. There were a couple there who had recently been to...
  2. A

    Chernobyl loses power, spent fuel storage question #Ukraine

    So the news are in that for whatever reason the electricity to the plant has been shut down. Now given the reactor have been long stopped there is no danger I would assume to the plant as such but the question is about the spent fuel assemblies that are still on site...
  3. R

    Chernobyl Chernobyl: Options to Limit Reactor Meltdown

    Once the water began to boil running up the reaction rate in Chernobyl unit 4, was there something different than the AZ-5 switch that the operators could have done which would have saved the reactor, or at least limited what happened to a meltdown?
  4. M

    Basic understanding of Graphite-Water reactors

    From my reading about the Chernobyl reactor disaster, I am trying to get a basic understanding of a graphite-water reactor. From what I understand, the graphite acts as a neutron moderator - essentially slowing fast neutrons down to enable greater probability for an additional fusion reaction...
  5. M

    Chernobyl What Are the Key Operational and Safety Features of the Chernobyl RBMK Reactor?

    In steam separator, is steam mixing with water, or it is completely separated? if yes, where goes condensate? (in deaerators?) In gas circuit, is there loop, or N-O mixture goes from storage, trough core, filters, to chimney? Is diesel generators supposed to generate electricity to power pumps...
  6. J

    Why did they use Boron at Chernobyl?

    Hi, Please could someone explain the reason for putting Boron onto a compromised reactor core like they did (or more specifically tried to do) at Chernobyl? This article on the topic is written by a nuclear reactor engineer...
  7. E

    Chernobyl Would Chernobyl reactor #4 still have exploded if....

    Would Chernobyl reactor #4 still have exploded if the control rods had not been tipped with graphite? Or would the severity of it just have been mitigated?
  8. S

    Radiation interference with camera at Chernobyl?

    Hi all, My first post on this forum. I couldn’t think of anywhere better to come than to here with a question I’ve had since a recent trip to Chernobyl! Whilst visiting Pripyat I took several videos. Great care was taken to stay away from any contamination hot spots and we had an experienced...
  9. P

    Chernobyl Did the fuel rod caps jumping cause the Chernobyl disaster?

    Readings showed the reactor's temperature had climbed to 4,650 C, almost as hot as the surface of the sun. An engineer who had been on a catwalk above the reactor ran into the control room, shouting that the fuel rod caps were jumping in and out of their sockets. These caps weigh 350kg (772 lb)...
  10. M

    Chernobyl How Accurate is HBO's Chernobyl in Explaining Nuclear Reactor Physics?

    Just finished that amazing HBO series "Chernobyl". As a physicist I am very much impressed by the explanation given by Legasov in the last episode. Especially the part he clarifies how the reactor was in an unstable equilibrium minutes before the event with nearly all the rods pulled out but...
  11. P

    Chernobyl Alternative to generators to prevent the Chernobyl disaster

    The only material that I used to get this information is Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster#Steam_turbine_tests. I don't know if that's reliable enough...
  12. C

    Thoughts on Chernobyl 2019 TV HBO Series

    Does anyone watch the Chernobyl tv series? https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7366338/ It has such realism you would think it's right in the scene. Imdb rated it 9.6 out 10. Did all those details in the series actualy happened? Which part is dramatization? It made me think deep into the night...
  13. Jeremy Thomson

    Chernobyl Did Chernobyl divers prevent a multi megaton explosion?

    There appears to be much myth about the 'divers' that swam through radioactive water to drain the water underneath reactor 4 at Chernobyl. This History channel link alludes to some of the myth https://www.history.co.uk/article/the-real-story-of-the-chernobyl-divers. It also links to a youtube...
  14. S

    Chernobyl and steam explosions

    Hello I must do a report on Chernobyl: before, during and after. I have all I need except for a clear and simple explanation of how steam explosions work in this regard. All the online sites I've been on provide information that is too advanced, and as a non native English speaker, the...
  15. Mackenzie Cobb

    Chernobyl Cesium 137 Half-Life vs. Chernobyl Contamination

    Let me start out by saying that I have no idea what I'm talking about. I graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor's in Spanish, and I work as a Loan Review Specialist at a bank, which has NOTHING to do with my degree, and still yet nothing to do with this topic. But lately, I've become...
  16. Posty McPostface

    Death toll from radiation exposure wrt. Chernobyl?

    Hi, I've been trying to de-misinform myself about the Chernobyl disaster in relation to radiation exposure. I found this study on the WHO website that states, Main points I would like to bring up: Source. Now, it seems that the source of my confusion is due to some apparent shortcomings...
  17. J

    Chernobyl Interesting new paper on Chernobyl

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00295450.2017.1384269 According to this paper, two nuclear explosions and one steam explosion took place.
  18. G

    Chernobyl Chernobyl NPP visit radiation question

    Hi, this has been probably asked a few times here but let me do it again,Since I'm planning to go to Chernobyl NPP for a "hands on" dosimetry learning experience and also for some adventure, I was wondering how safe or should I rather say necessary it would be to go inside the plant itself...
  19. N

    News Illegal wood pellet business in Chernobyl Zone

    Investigative journalists discovered that the wife of deputy head of National Police of Ukraine (his name is Igor Kupranets) is a "successful businesswoman", but this is hardly unusual in our country. What is a little peculiar is that her business is in making wood pellets, and it is located in...
  20. Robertphysics

    What is the current status of the Chernobyl recovery efforts?

    I just made a thread about this very topic in the nuclear engineering forum, but I thought to share it also here maybe someone likes to have a look , bsically I will just put a few links of some old videos and then in the end a few of how all this saga has come to the point where they have...
  21. Robertphysics

    Chernobyl Chernobyl new safe containment

    For many setbacks and trials and errors the nuclear industry has faced there are also major achievements , one of which I learned today as I was surfing the internet for something of interest. For all the countless people who have sacrificed their health and in many cases lives in order for many...
  22. L

    I Chernobyl Dose Model & Estimates

    Hello all, I've been tasked with developing a model for dose received from the Chernobyl Accident. I'm struggling a little to find dose estimates from which I can extrapolate back to find the initial dose received. Does anyone have any references that they can point me towards? I believe there...
  23. M

    Chernobyl Contributing factors towards Chernobyl accident

    Hi, recently I'm doing some reading up on the Chernobyl accident, then I came across what INSAG-7 reported in their findings to be contributing factors leading up to the accident. I've understood that mainly the design of the reactor core and the control rods played a huge part in it. However...
  24. B

    Radioactive Decay Chernobyl reactor accident

    Among the radioactive products emitted in the 1986 Chernobyl reactor accident were 131I ( t1/2 = 8.0 d) and 137Cs (t1/2 = 30 y). There are about five times as many 137Cs atoms as 131I atoms produced in fission. (a) Which isotope contributes the greater activity to the radiation cloud? Assume the...
  25. J

    What are radioactive particles?

    I visited Chernobyl recently with a tourist company, having read that the radiation levels that I would be exposed to were okay for a limited amount of time. I learned on the trip however, that the greatest risk consisted in getting contaminated particles in your body. The guide took us around...
  26. S

    Chernobyl Should Chernobyl have been cleaned?

    Well, should it? How liable was the fallout on ground to move and go elsewhere? The Zone was evacuated. But then large number of people were sent to clean the surface. Sending people to clean the surface exposed them to radiation. If they had not been sent there, and the fallout had been left...
  27. K

    Chernobyl How did this worker approach this fuel mass at Chernobyl?

    I accidentally happened upon this photo while researching some things about the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and I freaked out! How did this worker get so close to this mass of melted nuclear fuel in the basement of Chernobyl without receiving several lethal doses of radiation? This mass of...
  28. W

    Chernobyl Chernobyl Project: Learn Info, Find Radiation Levels

    Hi, does anyone know how to find out more information on the Chernobyl project? (the steel dorm) i.e. which company is actually designing and dealing with it? Also, is there anyway to find out the current average radiation level?
  29. K

    Chernobyl Chernobyl Reactors 1-3: Fuel Removal After 2000 Shutdown

    After the Chernobyl NPP was fully and permanently shut down in 2000, did they remove the fuel from reactors 1-3 as well as from the spent fuel pools? Construction on reactors 5-6 was canceled after the meltdown in 1986.
  30. P

    How can I determine if my housemate's shoes are contaminated with Cs-137?

    Hey all, So I'm in the uncomfortable situation of worrying about the repercussions of someone I live with having visited Chernobyl and having walked around inside the exclusion zone, and having been close enough to see the sarcophagus of reactor 4. The tour company didn't consider discarding...
  31. N

    Chernobyl B. Medvedev Chernobyl Notebook

    G. Medvedev "Chernobyl Notebook" This is the best book about Chernobyl, in my opinion. I read and reread it many times back then in 1990s when it was first published. It gives both a good technical description about the disaster timeline and causes per se, and also it provides an eyewitness...
  32. A

    Fukushima Underestimating the ongoing disaster at Fukushima vs Chernobyl?

    It will be a bad thing from different perspectives, to both overestimate or low-ball the severity of the ongoing disaster at Japan. We know the Japan disaster was recently revised to a level 7 disaster rating on par with the Chernobyl disaster. Naturally we are interested if the current...
  33. S

    Fukushima Total fukushima I-131 release vs chernobyl, in curies

    From what I can gather, the chernobyl release is most easily discussed in terms of the percentage of the core that was ejected into the environment. I have read the total activity in the core was approx. 9 billion curies, and that estimates of the total release range from 50 million curies all...
  34. N

    Chernobyl Is anyone else fascinated with the chernobyl disaster?

    hi, i only discovered yesterday that there are abandoned cities around the chernobyl nuclear plant, and now I am so fascinated by it lol, and i want to visit it one day, there is seriously nothing i would rather do in my life than go there, sad? maybe. ive got a few questions -...
  35. nukeman

    Exploring the Legacy of Chernobyl: 25 Years Later

    I am writing a article in my university newspaper, and I am just gathering as much info as I can about chernobyl, now and then. ***EDIT*** OK, got some good info, so I am changing my post here. Im trying to come up with a really good intro, but I don't like what i came up and want something...
  36. B

    Nuclear physics: determine the date of the Chernobyl accident

    Homework Statement The acitvities from the fission products 131I and 133I were measured in the air of Gothenburg April 28 1986 at 17:00. The result was 0.12 Bq/m3 and 0.39 Bq/m3 for 131I and 133I respectively. These isotopes came from the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. Use this...
  37. V

    Chernobyl Actual, current dose rate levels near Chernobyl.

    Does anyone have a source of the actual (today) dose rate levels in the 30 km zone near Chernobyl ?
  38. wolram

    Effects the Chernobyl accident caused are evident now?

    This is an article from 2000, does anyone know what effects the accident caused are evident now? http://www.ratical.org/radiation/Chernobyl/060700.html
  39. G

    Nuclear physics problem (Chernobyl)

    Hi I have a problem that i do not know how to solve. Activities from the fission products I(131) and I(133) were measured in the air of a city 28/4-1986 at 17:00. The result was 0,12 Bq/m3 and 0,39Bq/m3 for I(131) and I(133), respectively. These isotopes came from the chernobyl nuclear...
  40. Andrew Mason

    Chernobyl More killed mining coal in Ukraine than killed by Chernobyl

    This week there were 100 people killed in a single coal mine explosion in the Ukraine. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/18/AR2007111800127.html?hpid=sec-world"there were about 31 people killed in the Chernobyl explosion and aftermath. AM
  41. S

    Chernobyl accident vs candu 3 reactor

    Hello, Quick question I'm having a hard time finding much information, or at least information I'm absorbing. I'm just supposed to write a paragraph on: Could the same accident at Chernobyl happen in a CANDU 3 reactor? Anything to help get me started anyone?
  42. T

    Chernobyl The steps of Chernobyl and effects of radiation

    Hi there, Can anyone answer a few questions I have about chernobyl and related. I am doing some research on something related, and its hard to get good information about this. Here they are. 1) - Can someone explain the steps of the disaster? I mean, let's say is the cooling system...
  43. S

    Chernobyl that it was spelled Chornobyl

    I recently noticed in an article about Chernobyl that it was spelled Chornobyl. I conjecture that this is because the site is in Ukraine and the Ukranian language has chorno- meaning dark, whereas Russian has cherno-. (Which would mean that the folk song "Ochyii Chornya" - Dark Eyes -...
  44. T

    Chernobyl Is Cold Fusion a Valid Argument Against Nuclear Power?

    I am sure everyone alredy knew, since it has been in the news and all, but I have seen the link below become quite popular on the internet. The thing is, the same people that post this link, argue aginst nuclear power and start talking about researching subjects like cold fusion.:rolleyes...
  45. J

    What wildlife can be found in Chernobyl's nature reserve?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4923342.stm I love stories like this - where nature `finds a way' - Jurassic Park style :cool: :biggrin: (almost :-p)
  46. L

    Discover the Haunting Beauty of Chernobyl on a Biker-Chick's Photo Tour

    Thought some might find this article interesting. It is a biker-chick's ride through the radioactive lands around the reactor.
  47. Ivan Seeking

    News A motorcycle ride through Chernobyl

    This appears to be on the level and quite interesting. http://www.angelfire.com/extreme4/kiddofspeed/