Two adventure-loving Czech bikers are fulfilling their dream of discovering the world on their Jawa motorbikes. Michal Franc and Martin Gregor have covered 35 thousand km across Europe and this year they headed for the ghost town of Pripyat in Chernobyl, the site of the worst nuclear accident in history. On their return they paid a visit to Czech Radio to talk about their experiences.
Czech band Mňága a Žďorp is set to perform at the Chernobyling festival
in Ukraine on Thursday. The event takes place in Slavutych, a town that was
built for the evacuated personnel of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
after the 1986 disaster that occurred near the city of Pripyat.
The festival got underway on Wednesday and will continue until Friday. The profits will be dedicated to the inhabitants of the Chernobyl zone to improve their living conditions and restore some of the houses.
The worst industrial accident the world has ever known – that is one description of the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. And it was with the looming 30th anniversary of the nuclear reactor explosion in the former Soviet Union in mind that a conference was called in Prague this week to examine the ongoing health risks from the incident.
The Russian woodpecker was the nickname given to a rapid-fire shortwave signal emitted during the cold war from the Duga radar in what is today’s Ukraine. But was there a connection between Duga and 1986 disaster at the nearby Chernobyl nuclear power station? That question is explored in a film entitled The Russian Woodpecker currently being screened at the One World festival of human rights documentaries in Prague. I discussed the subject with producer Mike Lerner, a guest of East Doc Platform, which is organised by the Institute of Documentary
Ukrainian police detained three Czech tourists who entered a 30 kilometre wide area known as the exclusion zone surrounding the site of the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the site of the world’s worst nuclear power disaster in 1986. The news was released by the Rosbalt agency, which cited the interior ministry. The three Czechs, two men and one woman, are between the ages of 25 and 33. They face a fine for entering an area restricted due to radiation.
The Šumava National Park says its population of wild boars is still contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster from 1986. Out of 44 wild boars shot during the hunting season 33 were found to contain high levels of the radioactive isotope caesium, most likely due to eating contaminated mushrooms in certain areas of the park. There are health regulations in place making it obligatory to test any game hunted on the park’s premises. The authorities say the contamination is such that the meat cannot serve as animal feed and the carcasses must be safely destroyed.
In this week’s Business News: the transport minister’s resignation is met with relief by some members of the country’s construction sector, fuel prices reach an all-time high, the Czech Republic contributes over 65 million Czech crowns to an international fund for a protective shield around one of Chernobyl’s reactors, the labor ministry plans to introduce a new electronic payment system for pensions and for the first time, a woman takes first prize at the Czech Manager of the Year Awards.
April 26th, 1986, is a day that will live in infamy. When Reactor Number Four at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded, the resulting fire left a cloud of radiation hanging over Europe. Chernobyl was the world’s worst nuclear disaster, but ten years earlier, there was an accident at a similar Soviet-built reactor – this time in Czechoslovakia - that could have been equally devastating, had it not been for the actions of two men. For years the case was shrouded in secrecy. Only now has the story come to light.
April 1986: an American radio station announces news of what was soon found to be the greatest civil nuclear disaster in history at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine: "Radiation monitors in Sweden and Finland this morning are showing unusually high readings, in places three times normal levels. At the moment the source of those emissions is a mystery but speculation has arisen of a nuclear power plant accident inside the Soviet Union..."