Category Quick Jump
The Zone of Alienation, cont.
Ok, so now that I know more about the area, I’m gonna say that my characters live in The Zone of Alienation, aka The Zone of Exclusion, The Chernobyl Zone, The 30 Kilometer Zone, The Exclusion Zone, The Fourth Zone. With the Chernobyl disaster at the center, this is the area around it in a 30 km radius.
Some areas are more radioactive than others; for example, burial sites for the equipment used in the decontamination work.
All activity, except for the functioning of the Chernobyl Power Plant, and scientific studies of nuclear safety, are prohibited. About 3000 people, referred to by locals as “the Liquidators,” work in the Zone of Alienation. Another 3800 work in the Chernobyl Power Plant, administered separately from The Zone. These workers all live in Slavutych.
The area is primarily rural woodland that previously supported about 120,000 people. The only animal mutation that has been documented is partial albinism in sparrows, though eyewitness reports of mutated animals occur. The Red Forest, in the immediate vicinity of the plant, is about 10 km of pine forest that was killed by radioactive dust from the blast, turning the trees an orange-red. Wolves, wild boar, Roe Deer, red deer, moose and beaver live in the Zone; in fact due to lack of predators, they are multiplying rapidly. European wisent (bison) and Przewalski's Horses, released in the Zone after the accident, are thriving. Extremely rare lynx have been reported as well brown bear, which have not been in the area for centuries.
There is a train from Slavutych to the plant for workers. At the site of “Chernobyl-2” there is an underground bunker capable of providing energy and food supplies for up to 10 years.
Poaching and looting are common in the area; looting, especially in Pripyat where people had to leave all of their belongings upon evacuation. Punishments are more severe for poaching/looting in The Zone than in other parts of the Ukraine.
The town/city of Chernobyl was/is close to 800 years old.
There is a second fenced off area around the Chernobyl plant, 10 km in radius.
Childhood thyroid cancer increased 90% after the blast, in the area. Tumors increased 25%; cardiovascular disorders, 50%. There are increases in locomotor apparatus and nervous system disorders.
As of 2006, Reactor 4, the one that exploded, still had its safety and cooling systems working. The nuclear fuel had not yet been removed.
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