Chernobyl 25 years on: a poisoned landscape | Culture Collapse Disorder |

Yuri Tatarchuk has a disconcerting way of demonstrating Chernobyl's grim radioactive legacy. An official guide at the wrecked nuclear powerplant, he waves his radiation counter at a group of abandoned Soviet army vehicles that were used in the battle to clean up the contamination created by the reactor explosion in 1986.


"Some of these trucks are quite clean, but some of them not," he announces. A sweep of his counter reveals only a few clicks from their doors and roofs. Then he passes the device over one vehicle's tracks. A sudden angry chatter reveals significant levels of radiation.


"Wheels and tracks pick contamination from the soil," he tells the group that has gathered round him. "There is still plenty of radioactive isotopes – caesium, strontium, even some plutonium – in the ground and we cannot get rid of them." Twenty-five years on, Chernobyl remains a poisoned landscape...