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  • John Adams

Chernobyl: A Strange But Resurgent Land

Target: Duga-1/Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Tasker: David Morehouse

My summary impressions about this target were of "land, rocky terrain, natural setting and wildlife. Strangely I put that it felt "from the past". Verbal data indicated a mostly flat topology, whereas the drawings were slightly more interesting. The CEZ is mostly flat but does contain some differing topologies. The Ukrainian area (approximately 2600 km2) itself contains "forests, abandoned farmlands, wetlands, flowing and standing waters, deserted villages and urban areas. The Belarusian area (approximately 2200 km2) consists mainly of swamps, marshes and peat-bogs. Forest occupies about one half of the Belarusian territory; areas not forested are mostly former agricultural lands and meadows. Both the Ukrainian and Belarussian exclusion zones are now largely designated as protected wildlife reserves; their combined area creates mainland Europe's third largest nature reserve.

The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is a radioecological observatory. The land is "species rich with more than 400 species of vertebrate animals, including 67 ichthyoids, 11 amphibians, 7 reptilians, 251 birds and 73 mammals; many species are listed on Ukrainian and European Red Lists." -

The wildlife in the CEZ is diverse and thriving despite the radiation, but is speculated to in part be due to the fact that humans have left it alone. Other wildlife have diminished or disappeared completely, especially insects and invertebrates like dragonflies.

Although elephants do not roam Chernobyl, in 1986 after the accident "workers discovered "black lava" inside a steam corridor underneath reactor No. 4. They dubbed it the elephant's foot, which is adorable except that unlike the foot of your kid's favorite pachyderm at the local zoo, this foot could deliver a lethal dose of radiation in about five minutes. According to Nautilus, at that time one hour of exposure to the elephant's foot would have been the equivalent of 4.5 million chest X-rays.

Ten years after the accident, the elephant's foot had tamed a little. It was still radioactive, but only about 1/10 as radioactive"..."it's still melting into the base of the plant. If it ever meets ground water, it could cause another massive explosion or it could simply leech radiation into the local water supply. - For more info also see:

This image reminded me a lot of radiation or something like a cloud or some kind of nebulosity. Some other descriptors were sanguine, enchanting, rustic, wit the word digitalis (a plant that is not native here but occurs in this location).

reptile scales


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