Visiting the Abandoned Towns Near the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant 29 Years After 1986 Reactor Explosion

Long before the HBO series Chernobyl was aired, Veritasium host Dr. Derek Muller travelled to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in June of 2015. 29 years prior to Muller’s visit, a catastrophic explosion at the No. 4 reactor sent plumes of radioactive material into the environment and shut down nearby cities, like Pripyat, for good.

As Muller walked around the abandoned buildings, he noted how peaceful it all felt despite its horrific history. He particularly made note of the homes, the school, the theater, the red trees and the overgrowth of nature all around him.

When the residents of Pripyat were told to evacuate they were told that they would only be away for two weeks. So they left most of their belongings exactly where they were and they never came back. So their lives are on display here…Everything is so recognizable and so familiar and yet it is being destroyed. It is crumbling and nature is reclaiming this whole area. This is what the world would look like if man disappeared one day all of a sudden. This is what it would look like 30 years later.

This clip was part of a larger PBS documentary entitled Uranium – Twisting the Dragon’s Tail, which aired in July 2015.

Host and physicist Dr. Derek Muller unlocks the mysteries of uranium, one of the Earth’s most controversial elements.