Radioactive Wolves
The Exclusion Zone

The Chernobyl exclusion zone was established shortly after the 1986 nuclear disaster, closing off areas declared unfit for human occupation. To this day, the zone is restricted from the general public. While the original zone was about a 2900 square-kilometer/1100 square-mile radius area surrounding the plant, the borders of the zone have since been adjusted to better reflect the geographical points that show the heaviest contamination levels. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and the republics of Belarus and Ukraine declared independence, the zone was divided in two, with each country monitoring the section that falls within its border.


  • Michael Wertz

    Another great offering by PBS Nature. This program is a great motivator for my AP Environmental Science students who were amazed how organisms adapt to sudden shifts in the environment. It will be interesting in a few years when the NATURE crew visits the exclusion zone around the damaged reactors in Japan and whether an equally hopeful direction for her native species comes about.

  • Nikki

    What a terrible waste of natural resources. When will mankind learn that they’ve been given everything they need, and shouldn’t be making things like nuclear plants that will never be 100% guaranteed beyond failure or mishap. Just look at the graphic in this article and compare the contaminated area to the ‘clean’ area….What a waste.. and for decades/centuries to come.. sigh.

  • Margaret Pfautz

    You can watch it online at
    It’s a great story of nature’s ability to adapt to its environment.

  • rusty shackleford

    Get out of here S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

  • Alex

    Nikki, I’m not sure you understand the principles, or even the numbers involved here. 36 people died as a result of the Chernobyl accident; compare that to the numbers of people who’ve died as a result of coal, natural gas or even putting up wind turbines.

    Sorry, I really don’t mean to be an inciter of anything here; I’d just like a little more information in the general public. You can read a little more about nuclear power and safety here:

  • midwestlady

    The Ukraine was some of the best farming land on earth at one time. What a waste.

  • Michael Kinzig

    I am constantly astonished at the limited, biased, and deliberately mis-informed observations of these respondents (as well as most humans). What NO ONE wants to admit is that nature is capable, on its own, to repair and re-juvenate itself, in spite of massive assaults on its well being and future. When will the arrogance and ego-maniacal views of people allow education from sources other than their own prejudices to penetrate that prejudice? This is not to say that damage to the earth should be taken lightly. We Should always exert maximum effort to ameliorate the effects of our presence and creations. BUT, to blithley condemn our steps to progress as always damnable is so self-centered as to be laughable and and destructive. WE have NOT been given everything we need, or we would not need to build power plants, houses, boats , cars, TVs, radios, PBS shows, or Cell phones. Get It?? The wolves, birds, mice, trees, fish, beavers, bugs, swamps, plants, and all critters that need them are fine. Nature does not need us, But would certainly benefit from actively reponsible stewardship. We will make mistakes. None of them will be forgiveable, but many will be fixable. Let’s Get off our egoes.

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