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Guides in the zone

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Etalon

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Beiträge: 9

Registriert: Do 1. Aug 2013, 13:58

Beitrag Do 1. Aug 2013, 14:07

Guides in the zone

Hello!

I have been interested in visiting chernobyl and pripyat (and the awesome looking antenna array) for years now, and seeing bionerd's videos has rekindled that. Only thing is now, I am not sure I would be happy with the touristy guided tour version. I doubt for instance, that would be allowed to explore the vehicle graveyards as part of that.

I am not sure if you can give me any hints as to if there is anything I could do?

A little bit about me: My background is in physics (studied as part of a dual honours degree) and my job is in contaminated land investigation/ cleanup so although I am totally new to this sort of thing, I feel I know enough to begin to understand what it is about.

Many thanks,

(and yay! first non test post!)
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som3e

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Registriert: Fr 26. Jul 2013, 12:50

Beitrag Fr 2. Aug 2013, 11:11

Re: Guides in the zone

Hi,

my major point of view in visiting the zone is to catch the feeling and try to learn more about the history, culture and nature of this land. Of course there are some interests in physics too.

Actually its not allowed to visit the last vehicle graveyard in Buryakiwka, but the zone is full with abandoned millitary and civil vehicles.
At an individual trip you will get possibility to visit places like this. Currently the antenna array is absolutely no-go for visitors.

On the situation in Chernobyl 2:
The authorities like "Komplex" is all about tons of high-alloy metal. The object is guarded , tourists are usually kept (all the lucky who had been there in the last time - were there... illegally..). :o (another sample of ukrainian business solutions)
The problem is the dismantling of the antennas . At the moment, the costs of dismantling (with climbers) will be higher than the scrap price for the metal. So Komplex have no other choice but to continue to guard it. Perhaps they will soon find a solution and people can finally visit this object. In this case, it depends on the cooperation of the authorities like Komplex with another tourist authorithies. But maybe they will find faster solution to the dismantling. Currently, the problem of the visitors is fully discussed by guides. So let's hope for the best. ;)

Blocks 5+6 are "no man´s land" at this moment. So you have really good chances to visit the third state. But nobody knows how long..
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Etalon

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Beiträge: 9

Registriert: Do 1. Aug 2013, 13:58

Beitrag Fr 2. Aug 2013, 20:16

Re: Guides in the zone

Okay, thanks for the information.

I take it people have gotten to visit other areas by somehow knowing the right people? The antenna array does look so enticing!
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jsbid

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Registriert: Fr 26. Jul 2013, 07:42

Beitrag Fr 2. Aug 2013, 20:39

Re: Guides in the zone

> I am not sure I would be happy with the touristy guided tour version

That depends heavily on your interests: If you want to do a budget
trip with 30 others, just to be able to say "I've been there" (not forgetting
the shoot in front of the sarcophagus) the ordinary group tour should
be fine.

But if you want to know the taste of a post soviet-style mixture of desert,
paradise, jungle, graveyard, ... an individual trip (probably lasting at least
3 days) will be more advisable (but be prepared to get addicted to it).
As som3e said already, many of the "special" place are no-go areas
at the moment but this can change again.

Judging from your post, I assume the latter suggestion is the better one ;-).
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jsbid

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Registriert: Fr 26. Jul 2013, 07:42

Beitrag Fr 2. Aug 2013, 21:21

Re: Guides in the zone

> I take it people have gotten to visit other areas by somehow
> knowing the right people?

Those were the days...

Actually, you never could have been 100% sure what you will be able
to see. Most of what I call "special places"is under the jurisdiction of
different organisations (the one best known is COMPLEX). And these
people are normally not interested in visitors. But these organisations
change rapidly and also the "special places" they are responsible for.

Of course it is important to know the right people but these people
can't do miracles. They are not affiliated with these organisations,
they just know where to go and submit their request. And these
requests get denied a lot lately...

I had my best trips in 2010 (where ChII still existed but with a lot of
internal changes) and in 2011 (where the Zone was officially closed
actually). Now the administration of the Zone had been revamped
entirely. Many people have been replaced (some are actually coming
back currently) but nobody trusts nobody and so everyone has gotten
overcautious.

For Ch-II there was a small window between 2009 and 2011 where
applications got approved sometimes. Rassocha officially has been
closed 7 years ago (we had that incredible luck to go there in 2010, but
now it's almost empty anyway), Blocks 5/6 still get approved in some
cases these days. The "Buryakivka-windows" was even smaller (lasted
just about one year, and I was surprised we were really admitted to visit
an actively used radwaste repository). Once we even had the official
permission to visit VECTOR but as soon as we approached the fence
we were harshly chased away ;-(.

There are also some non-standard and interesting places which are
not under the management of some extra organisation. These are
some particular buildings in Pripyat, the Pripyat cargo port, Pidlisny
cementary, the red forest, the bridge over the Pripyat river and a few
more. The chance of visiting these just depends on your guide and
a bit of luck. But you can never predict this...

> The antenna array does look so enticing!

Yes, they do. In fact, the small one was in the process of being
disassembled in 2010 (see that sad picture) but it appears nothing
has changed since then. So chances are, that it still might be there
in better times...
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Etalon

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Beiträge: 9

Registriert: Do 1. Aug 2013, 13:58

Beitrag Fr 2. Aug 2013, 23:46

Re: Guides in the zone

That is really interesting, thanks for going to that detail.

I had no idea that the different areas are organised by different groups of people. My assumption was that there were official guides, or at least, guides with official passes, of which some had more.. liberal interpretations on what they were allowed to show people.

It is weird to me that these organisations exist at all, especially these rather strange sounding windows of opertunity to visit. Are these organisations there to maintiain security on different areas, and then sometimes try to make so money on the side? Why does the body COMPLEX even exist? I guess it is the ukraine, it doesnt need to make any sense!

Why is it that the most interesting things in life are the most difficult things to do :) I guess it is part of what makes something special.
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jsbid

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Registriert: Fr 26. Jul 2013, 07:42

Beitrag Sa 3. Aug 2013, 12:23

Re: Guides in the zone

> It is weird to me that these organisations exist at all,
> especially these rather strange sounding windows of opertunity to visit.

Well, as I said, responsibilities within these organisations change rapidly.
And with these changes, people change as well. Some are more liberal,
some are more strict, others are simply more corrupt. Some like the guy
who is filing the application for admittance, some don't.

And it's always some kind of tightrope walk. I can't go into details here
but simply imagine that people have to trade a few Euros of bribe
against possibly losing their work...

> Are these organisations there to maintiain security on different areas,
> and then sometimes try to make so money on the side?

Both. Most objects in the Zone which are not considered to be absolutely
worthless are under control of these folks. COMPLEX is one of the biggest
and, IIRC, it is state-controlled. They have/had their hands on Ch-II, the
blocks 5/6 (including the remnants of the reactor construction site),
Buriyakivka (if you wan't you can translate it's sign shown below), ...
AFAIK, blocks 5/6 are under different control now.

I think that a lot of fishy stuff's going on there. In 2010, they disassembled
some remainders of reactor 5. All tubes were in the process of being
sandblasted (it was Sunday and people were working). After having taken
the photo below, some angry looking guy came which could only be appeased
buy showing him the paper singned by Mr. COMPLEX again and again.
3 days later, we found the lorry carrying the tubes being examined by the
police at the roundabout close to Iwankiv...

Another Sunday we were back in the machine hall of reactor 5. 2 people
were burning tons of cables in order to remove the isolation and extracting
the copper (you can't imagine that sickening smell). We almost had to
swear that we won't take any photos (that's were I started to change my
memory card every 10 minutes ;-)).

> I guess it is the ukraine, it doesnt need to make any sense!

You're getting the idea quickly!
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Sickranium

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Zonenbewohner
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Beiträge: 235

Registriert: Fr 2. Aug 2013, 22:13

Wohnort: Wien

Beitrag Mo 5. Aug 2013, 12:33

Re: Guides in the zone

jsbid hat geschrieben:In fact, the small one was in the process of being
disassembled in 2010 (see that sad picture) but it appears nothing
has changed since then.
Indeed... I visited in 2013, and it looked absolutely identical... :)
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Etalon

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Beiträge: 9

Registriert: Do 1. Aug 2013, 13:58

Beitrag Sa 10. Aug 2013, 09:38

Re: Guides in the zone

Ahha!

You have been busy whilst I was away. That FAQ is very useful! Now I need to see if I can find enough people who want to go. Only problem is that your posts talking about the zone and all the pictures just make me want to go more.. I guess the control electronics in some of these robots were not sufficiently radiation hardend. I wouldnt want to be the guy rescuing it, "yeah we need to get the robot back... oh yes it stopped working as the radiation levels are too high"

I assume that the Komplex people dont want to do an explosive demolition on the antenna array due to the risk of kicking up radioactive dust? (or the bad publicitiy from doing so).
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som3e

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Registriert: Fr 26. Jul 2013, 12:50

Beitrag Sa 10. Aug 2013, 12:54

Re: Guides in the zone

Etalon hat geschrieben:I assume that the Komplex people dont want to do an explosive demolition on the antenna array due to the risk of kicking up radioactive dust? (or the bad publicitiy from doing so).


Yes, dust is the only reason.
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