It’s been 25 years since the meltown at Chernobyl and the abandoned town of Pripyat still echoes with tragedy. Those of you who saw our virtual tour via our blog posts of April 4 and April 6 would already have a sense of the surreal and sobering scene we encountered on our recent visit to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
Now here’s some video (below). Blacksmith staffer Drew McCartor took his camera on a walk through the music room of an abandoned elementary school littered with sheet music, a broken doll, and a piano with a gas mask sitting on its exposed shell. Then he took in the scene standing in the deserted and eerily quiet central square. Both videos look like scenes from a post-apocalyptic movie.
Radiation cleanup can be a long process but there is hope. All that is required is commitment and resources. Just this week, the European Commission pledged around €110 million and donor nations have pledged $785 million to ensure that the Chernobyl site is made stable and environmentally safe.
But while world attention turns once again to Chernobyl on its 25th anniversary, and as new concerns collect around Fukushima, we have to remember that radiation pollution does not just come from a big, spectacular nuclear accident. There are many other hotspots in the world contaminated with radiation pollution from the manufacture of weapons or chemicals.