Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990

Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990

These days some in the media are commemorating the Chernobyl incident, or as they call it in Russia, “The Chernobyl Catastrophe”. The reason is because it happened exactly thirty years ago, in April 1986. So we decided to post something too. We posted the best spooky shots we could get our hands on. The story is as follows. Just four years after the incident, in the year 1990, a Russian photographer went right inside the destroyed reactor building, the most dangerous place in Chernobyl, and took those photos. Scary.

Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990

 

Right here is where it all happened. Inside Reactor No. 4. What a brave photographer, huh?

What shocks us most, it was a woman. Yes, a woman-photographer risked her life to bring these photos to you 26 years later.

Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990

This is what she saw there.

Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990

Even now this place is very dangerous. Back then it was just burning up with radioactivity.

Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990

Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990

Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990

On her way back.

Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990

Could all this foam really help to wash out that radioactivity? Hardly.

Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990

These ladies, who were working in nearby places, had to follow these procedures daily. Stripped to their underwear.

Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990

Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990

Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990

Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990

Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990

Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990

Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990

And here is her legendary Nikon camera, today it is probably the only one that has been inside the damaged reactor building. See how much radioactivity the sensor shows?

Thanks a lot to this brave woman. At that time she was rewarded for her effort too and got some prestigious world awards for the photos, and we here have a rare chance to see them and remember what happened back then.

16 thoughts on “Russian Photographer Goes inside Chernobyl Reactor in 1990”

  1. There’s really not much danger, if you have proper dosimetry and proper protective equipment. You have to be careful, for sure, and plan everything carefully, but it’s way less dangerous than going e.g. to a bad area in a bad neighbourhood.
    Those women “undergoing procedure” in the photo are simply going through a “whole body meter”, they have to do it every day in all nuclear plants even without any accidents, even today, all over the world, so there’s nothing special about it.

    Reply
  2. The most spooky photo is the “elephant foot”, google it. THAT thing was really scary. Another one is the photo of a heat exchanger with corium lava flowing out of the manholes.

    Reply
  3. I’m going to assume she’s dead now. The whole thing sounds more stupid than brave. What did she show us that we didn’t already know was there? Nothing.

    Reply
    • You really should do some research before making stupid comments. As long as the radiation doesn’t get inside her, she is fine.
      Q: How can plutonium harm you?

      A: You have to eat it in order to harm yourself with it. It is radioactive, naturally. Radioactive, but much less so than radium, for example, which is scattered again all over the earth’s crust. So it’s not a very frightening material.

      Reply
  4. is she still alive? that protective suit doesnt look safe enough to me, its not even covering her face, i thought you must at least put on a full gear

    Reply
  5. As I have worked nuclear power plant as security officer with access to ~everywhere and I have visited Pripyat, let me explain. Te main reason for people using this “safety gear” is to avoid radioactive dirt to contaminate clothes and not allowing it into your body. Suits are made of paper and wool, and they do not block gamma radiation (alpha and beta yes). One does not want radioactive dust into your system. Ambient gamma radiation penetrates whatever clothes you are using, and it requires 1 cm of solid lead to ½ the radiation. So there is no practical way to cover yourself as suit made of lead would require power armor…

    As for women it is possible they get so much radiation that all their eggs become spoiled, meaning they never get healty babies. Ovum do not recur like male semen, and thats why women cannot be exposed to radiation similar way as males.

    Reply
  6. There were many scientific trips into or very close to the Chernobyl’s reactor. Just after the sarcophagus was finished they feared that there could be real danger of the second explosion in case water would reach the nuclear fuel. There is a very interesting video about this (with many interviews of these Russian researchers + subtitles in English). Google it: “BBC Horizon 1996 Inside Chernobyl’s Sarcophagus”. I guess this women here took part in one of these scientific trips to the reactor building.

    Reply
  7. People wondering about the possible radiation exposure: The photos turned up fine. It was a film camera she was using. Lethal amounts cause grain on the photos, so I guess she’s fine.

    Reply
  8. Actually a small number of Ukrainian scientists still do research by visiting the control room but I do not know how often and by wearing what kind of protection. Lead I presume.

    Reply
    • I doubt they would wear any more in protection than the photographer. Quite likely even less.
      After the accident the other 3 reactors were kept in operation and and the last one was only shut down in 2000. Also some people actually never left the exclusion zone and still live there. No they are not horrible mutants with terrible cancer growths. Radiation can certainly be deadly – depending on the absorbed dose. Just like heat in a way.

      Reply

Leave a Comment