While residing in Kiev in 2001, I visited the Chernobyl Zone accompanied by several Ukrainian guides. Since then I have worked closely with Dr. Valery Antropov (second from left in photograph), manager of the Chernobyl State Complex Information Center for Radioactive Waste Management. Dr. Antropov provided me with invaluable guidance in understanding the current situation at Chernobyl and the cleanup and management efforts he and his colleagues undertake, while I composed an in-depth article on this.
The 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster is April 26, 2006. But my article is not about the anniversary. Instead, it chronicles a day at the Zone, and depicts the dismal, still potentially dangerous state of the site. Take a tour of the Chernobyl Zone with me here, and learn why the new containment shelter needs to be built soon, and why Chernobyl is still urgently relevant to current global nuclear energy policy.