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 Chernobl—Nobody’s Hometown-Listen to Andrew MacLeod

Andrew MacLeod(more on his blog@http://andrewmacleodtravel.blogspot.com.au/his fascinating biography can be sourced viaamazon.com/Life-Half-Lived-Andrew-Macleod/dp/1742572529/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362843641&sr=8-1&keywords=a+life+half+lived

On April 25, 1986, before today’s young travellers were born, scientists testing shut down procedures at the plant decided to see what would happen if the cooling system power was shut off. What followed was the world’s largest nuclear disaster that keeps an area larger than Luxembourg uninhabitable but possible to visit briefly.
In 1986 Soviet authorities waited two days to hastily evacuate the surrounding towns and even let May Day parade’s continue in Kiev and Minsk as radioactive clouds drifted over those cities. It took Swedish authorities to alert the world as radioactive particles drifted over their countries.
In Chernobyl though, you learn of another frightening fact kept secret for 15 years. Molten radioactive fuel, burning out of control was only a day away from burning through the last layer of protective concrete protecting pooled water below. Had the out of control fuel made contact with the water, Soviet scientists estimated a resulting blast could have been equivalent of a 350 mega-ton bomb, wiping out Minsk and making all of Europe uninhabitable due to fall-out.
The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev later said that this incident convinced him to start disarmament, and begin the glasnost process that ended the cold war. Gorbachev says that the $18 billion spent on the Chernobyl disaster was more responsible for the end of the Cold War than US foreign policy. Maybe some good did come from it?
Nature fights back around Chernobyl
Travelling through empty villages and towns, entering rapidly evacuated hospitals and kindergartens, apartments and homes that surround Chernobyl, gives one a surrealistic taste of what life without people on earth would be. Nature is fighting back, with trees sprouting inside building and mosquitoes everywhere.

A lonely amusement park, due to open the week after the disaster and hence never used, is the harshest reminder of Chernobyl. No laughter ever came from the Ferris Wheel and the dodgems never bumped in anger. Trees now grow from this playground. As you walk the deserted boulevards, stand near the emptied swimming pool, you think a nuclear winter could have done this to us all, and how close we came.