CHERNOBYL IN NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE
2006 marks the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident. On April 26, 1986 at 1:23 am, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant blew up after operators botched a safety test, triggering the world’s worst nuclear disaster to date. Twenty years later, the long shadow of Chernobyl continues to darken lives - socially, environmentally, and physically. On assignment for National Geographic magazine, the thawing of bureaucratic barriers in Ukraine enabled Gerd Ludwig to move freely within the Exclusion Zone and delve deeper into the Chernobyl reactor than any other Western photographer, resulting in an in-depth coverage of the situation in the Exclusion Zone and the desperate efforts to stabilize the deteriorating sarcophagus. Some of the photographs depict Chernobyl’s voiceless victims; they allowed their suffering to be documented solely in the hope that tragedies like Chernobyl be prevented in the future.
An audio/visual version of this powerful story can be found at http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0604/sights_n_sounds/index.html