On April 26, 1986 a nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukraine. There was an explosion and the graphite moderator was exposed to the air. The moderator caught fire and large amounts of radioactive materials were released into the atmosphere.
Thousands of people were relocated because of the radiation – and entire towns and cities were abandoned. The city of Pripyat was built to house the Chernobyl workers and their families. I was randomly browsing when I came across a website dedicated to the city – and to the virtual community of the residents in exile. Their homes forbidden to them.
http://pripyat.com/en is the site. There are galleries of the town in the past and as it is now. There is a strange beauty to the abandoned buildings and empty streets.
http://pripyat.com/en/monitor displays the current radiation levels in areas around Chernobyl – and compares to some other major urban centres. Pripyat has more than double the normal levels of radiation.
What is rather fascinating is the fact that one can actually book a tour of the area: http://stayinkiev.com/en/Chernobyl-Tour . There are some incredible photos in this site – not my kind of tour with those levels of radiation.