Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, 2006
On April 26th, 1986, Reactor No.4 at Chernobyl nuclear power station explodes, sending an enormous radioactive cloud over Northern Ukraine and neighbouring Belarus. The danger is kept a secret from the rest of the world and the nearby population who go about their business as usual. May Day celebrations begin, children play and the residents of Pripyat marvel at the spectacular fire raging at the reactor. After three days, an area the size of England becomes contaminated with radioactive dust, creating a 'zone' of poisoned land.
These images where taken while making a documentary with Phil Grabsky and Mario Petrucci called 'Heavy Water: a film for Chernobyl', which was broadcast in 2006/7/8 on Sky Arts and More4.
All images © 2006, David Bickerstaff