17 New Photos Show What Chernobyl Looks Like Today
On 26 April 1986, a radioactive release 10 times bigger than the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power station inside the then Soviet Union.
It would go down in history as one of the worst disasters of its kind.The explosion blasted radioactive gas and dust into the air, and winds carried it across central and southern Europe. Thirty-one people died in the accident, and countless lives have been affected long-term by the exposure to radiation.
Around 350,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes in the “Nuclear Exclusion Zone”, the area in a 19-mile (30 km) radius around the plant. The town hardest hit was Pripyat, Ukraine – it was quickly abandoned and remains empty to this day. Ahead, 17 images that show what the zone looks like today.
The cause of the explosion was two-fold. The first major issue was that the power station was built with faulty construction and what American physicist and Nobel laureate Hans Bethe has called “built-in instability”.
At the time of the accident, the power station had four 1,000-megawatt power reactors in place. A fifth was in the works.
One of the multiple issues was the reactor’s containment structure – built entirely of concrete, it should have been reinforced with steel. Here, a view of a baby’s crib in the abandoned village of Zalesye.
The more direct cause of the explosion was an electrical engineering experiment gone extremely awry.
Engineers wanted to test if they could draw electricity from turbine generators while the reactors were turned off, but the turbines were still spinning inertially.
To conduct their experiment, they had to turn off many of the power station’s automatic safety controls, and also remove a majority of the plant’s control rods, which absorb neutrons and limit the reaction.
In a crunch for time, the engineers turned the reactor’s power levels down much too quickly.
That fatal mistake lead to another series of destructive choices, eventually leading to a massive chemical explosion.
Pieces of burning metal went in the air, causing fires where they landed. Due to the poisonous radiation, the Chernobyl site was declared a permanent no-go zone.
The city of Pripyat, located a little over a mile from the nuclear plant, was inhabited mostly by power plant workers and their families.
On the day following the explosion, April 27, civilians were bused out with little time to collect all of their belongings.
To enter the city today, visitors must go through security checks and have proper authorisation and a tour guide.
Child-size gas masks are routinely found inside abandoned child care facilities such as this one.
The coat of arms of the former Soviet Union sits on top of an abandoned apartment building in Pripyat.
Reports have been made that although no human life remains in Chernobyl, animal life has since thrived near the disaster site.
Radioactive water, ground soil, and air are still affecting those around the Nuclear Exclusion Zone.
Greenpeace has estimated a total of 100,000 to 400,000 people in total could die of health issues directly caused by the accident at Chernobyl.
This article was originally published by Business Insider.
Renters in Los Angeles and San Francisco are Paying $1200 a Month for a Bunk Bed in a Shared Space
Would you pay $1200 a month for a bunk bed in a shared space? Renters in Los Angeles and San Francisco are opting for pods in communal home with a desk, locker and personal TV
With the cost of rent continuing to rise, some Americans are taking unusual measures to find a place to sleep.
In Los Angeles and San Francisco, where prices are particularly exorbitant, people have taken to renting bunk beds in communal homes.
PodShare, which provides 10 to 15 co-ed bunkbeds in six locations across California, is hoping to help solve the affordable housing crisis.
The beds can be rented from $35 to $50 a night, which amounts to between $1,050 and $1500 for one month.
It’s no secret that housing prices have rapidly spiked over the last decade and incomes have not kept up
One 2018 study published found that only about one-third of millennials currently own homes.
This is fewer than the number of Generation Xers and baby boomers who owned homes when they were the same age.
And a study conducted by Harvard University this year found that one-in-three Americans can’t afford to pay rent.
It’s unsurprising considering that, in cities such as San Francisco, the average rent for an apartment is about $3,900.
But for $1,200, if you rent with PodShare everyone gets a bed that turns into a desk, individual power outlets, a locker, a shelf and a personal TV.
Each location also provides a communal living room, food such as cereal, toiletries such as toilet paper, laundry machines and WiFi access, reported CNN.
Tenants are known as ‘pod-estrians’.
Although the set-up may seem like an adult dormitory or a hostel, the company uses the term ‘co-living’.
‘PodShare makes life more affordable because there is no security deposit or cost of furnishings and we provide flexible living,’ co-founder Elvina Beck told Vice in 2016.
‘Pod life is the future for singles which are not looking to settle down, but focus on their startups and experience something new.’
There are no curtains to close off the beds, and the only doors are to the bathroom, reported Time Out Los Angeles.
Although there’s no privacy, pod-residents are willing to exchange that for affordability or a reduced travel time to work.
Beck, 34, told CNN that she founded the company in 2012 because she wanted to meet new people and provide housing security to others.
‘Maybe they don’t have two months’ rent to put down or they don’t have proof of income,’ she said.
‘Whether it’s from a divorce or their family kicked them out for being gay or because they’re in a different country or a different city.’
She told CNN that, when she began PodShare, most residents were between ages 24 and 30. Today, however, most ‘tenants’ are in their late 20s or early 30s.
Additionally, many of the early residents were young adults who had just moved to a new city. But many new residents are older adults and even those traveling on business.
However, there some rules that people are required to follow. Lights have to be off by 10pm, no guests are allowed and tenants can’t have sex.
‘You can’t invite any friends over,’ Beck told CNN. ‘Sorry. Just make new ones here.’
Caretaker Ties a Wheelchair-Bound Pensioner to a Tree by The Neck
Shocking footage of a wheelchair-bound pensioner being tied to a tree by the neck by a caretaker has sparked controversy in China.
The caretaker claimed to have no other way but to bind her frail client with a rope because she had to rush back home to deal with family emergency.
Furious onlookers demanded the caretaker free the pensioner immediately. The domestic worker defended her act by calling the incident ‘no big deal’.
The video was reportedly shot in Beijing recently, according to local news outlet Btime.com.
Related: Killer Snatched Girl, 11, Suffocated Her Then Dumped Corpse in Sewer
The pensioner appeared extremely distressed throughout the video and could not speak clearly.
One angry male passer-by accused the caretaker: ‘How would you feel if your daughter treated you like this?’
He criticised the caretaker and said she should bring the pensioner with her.
The caretaker replied: ‘[If I had] pushed her back, she would tell [on me].’
Another female bystander pointed out that the pensioner neck had turned red because of the rough treatment.
After being lambasted by eyewitnesses, the caretaker untied the pensioner and pushed her away.
Authority said the clip had been uploaded onto the social media by residents in a neighbourhood called Nanyuan on the outskirts of southern Beijing.
But they had not been able to identify the exact location of the incident or track down the individuals involved.
Police have been alerted of the video and launched an investigation, according to Beijing Evening News.
Comforting Shelter Dogs During Fireworks Is The New Independence Day Tradition
“Calming the Canines,” at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC), is a new Independence Day tradition.
Last year, over 300 people from the community showed up at the shelter’s two locations around Phoenix, Arizona.
It was overwhelming to see how the community responded. It really helped spread our message that MCACC is here to help.
Amy Engel, who attended Calming the Canines last year said that she definitely plans on attending this year, too.
Engel wrote about her experience last year
Some people sang to them, some people read to them, some people just sat there and gave treats! It was so, so awesome because the dogs absolutely love the attention and were focused on the people and not the fireworks going on outside.
Many participants developed lasting relationships with the shelter, returning to provide foster care, adopt a pet or volunteer.
The shelter suggests people to bring blankets to sit on, or folding chairs, and to let the dog or cat approach them to sit calmly and quietly.
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