Need to Know presents VII Magazine, a journalistic partnership with VII Photo, which gives readers unprecedented intimate access to the work of the world’s leading photojournalists. Every day, our partners at VII showcase a new photo, and each week, a new video or audio slideshow.
Japan’s nuclear crisis is intensifying just as the 25th anniversary of the nuclear catastrophe at Chernobyl approaches on April 26, 2011. Over the past 15 years, VII photographer Antonin Kratochvil has taken several trips to the site in Ukraine and witnessed the vast destruction and grief caused by the disaster. VII Magazine features some of his haunting images and videos showing the lingering effects of the Chernobyl disaster.
Recently, the Ukrainian government officially opened Chernobyl to tourism. For a $100 fee, visitors can observe the famous nuclear power plant’s sarcophagus, see and feed catfish occupying a former nuclear reactor cooling pond, and visit the nearby town of Pripyat, deserted after the nuclear explosions. Although parts of Chernobyl still contain high levels of radiation, authorities have maintained that the excursions arranged for tourists pose no significant health threats.