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2015-01-08

Where in the world is the Courier now?

Contributed

Well, this edition found itself on the Belarus side of Chernobyl with Michael Byrne, who resides in Pipe Creek with his family, John, Diane and Sarah Butler and Jarret Byrne. This photo was snapped while Michael was working on a research project at the Chernobyl Nuclear Exclusion Zone. The City of Chernobyl was evacuated in 1986 after an explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. A resultant fire released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, which spread over much of the western then-USSR and Europe. This remains the single most disastrous nuclear event in history, followed by the Fukushima Daiichi plant meltdown in 2011. The Chenobyl Exclusive Zone is an area originally extending 19 miles in all directions from the nuclear plant is largely uninhabited, except for about 300 residents who refused to evacuate. The area has reverted to forest, and is overrun by wildlife, which is largely thriving. Because of regulations implemented to reduce exposure to radiation, workers in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone are limited in the number of days per week or weeks per month they stay in Chernobyl. Ukrainian officials - Chernobyl sprawls into that country, too - estimate the area will not be safe for human habitation for another 20,000 years. Thanks, Michael, for allowing The Courier to research that grim piece of nuclear history.