How radioactive is the environment at the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone?  The question seems particularly pertinent when you’re planting a tree and the wind is blowing sand in your eyes. 

This was the scene recently when I visited Chornobyl with Volodymyr Kholosha, Head of the State Agency of Ukraine for the management of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone.  The UK is investing £8m for the construction of a Centralised Store for disused sealed radioactive sources (SRS) in the Vector complex at Chornobyl, together with €2m in funding from the European Union.  The store is designed to bring together from all over Ukraine small radioactive sources used in applications such as x-ray machines, cancer treatments and water purification and keep them in one of the most secure and closely monitored places on the planet.  You can read more about the event on the embassy website. A link to TV coverage of the event is here (in Ukrainian).
Driving from Kyiv to Chornobyl was an opportunity to marvel once again at the feat of the embassy’s charity walkers who covered the 110 km distance earlier this year.  It was also a chance to look at the New Safe Confinement Project – a plan to build a sliding protective shield to cover Chornobyl’s Reactor No 4.  I hope to blog about that later.  As I noted in an earlier blog, “Holidays in Chernobyl”, the site remains thought-provoking – and fascinating.  Making it as safe as possible remains an important and long-term task.
NB: the spelling “Chornobyl” is from the Ukrainian language, as opposed to “Chernobyl”, as transliterated from Russian.

Leigh Turner



Ukrayinska Dumka


Great Britain The Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain has many branches throughout the country. Select a branch below to find out more information.