Radioactive Railroad

A journey through the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone
Radioactive Railroad

Further Reading


The Truth About Chornobyl, Grigori Medvedev
Published internationally as "The Chornobyl Notebook," Medvedev's tale is one of, if not the best, accounts of the Chornobyl disaster from an insider. Medvedev was a deputy director in the Soviet Ministry of Energy, dealing with the construction of new nuclear plants. Prior to that position, he was a deputy chief engineer at the Chornobyl plant in the 1970s. He was sent to Chornobyl after the disaster as a special investigator.

The Legacy of Chornobyl, Zhores Medvedev
A general account of the events that unfolded at Chornobyl, and the environmental effects on the Soviet Union and Europe.

Voices from Chornobyl, Svetlana Alexievich
A very personal tale of the Chornobyl disaster, presented through interviews with people that lived through the evacuation, and family members of those that died. The conversation with the young wife of first responder and firefighter Vasily Ignatenko who died due to radiation exposure is especially poignant.

Nuclear topics

Red Atom: Russias Nuclear Power Program From Stalin To Today, Paul Josephson
An introduction to the Soviet Union's nuclear power program, and the development of the VVER and RBMK reactors.

Atomic America: How a Deadly Explosion and a Feared Admiral Changed the Course of Nuclear History, Todd Tucker
Although the focus is on the SL-1 disaster, and Hyman Rickover's Navy nuclear submarine project, the book contains an interesting history of nuclear power in the United States.

The Railroad

Строительство железных дорог на Черниговщине (Railway Construction in Chernihiv), Evgenii Alimov
One of the few, if not the only books containing the history of the Ovruch to Chernihiv line.

Part One:
A Journey to Ukraine
Part Two:
Humans and the Atom: A Disaster in the Making
Part Three:
Powering and Connecting the Soviet Union
Part Four:
The Ovruch to Chernihiv Rail Link
Part Five:
The Age of Chornobyl
Part Six:
Permanently Contaminated: The Railroad Graveyard Photo Gallery
Part Seven:
Abandoned: The Radioactive Railroad Photo Gallery
Part Eight:
Ghost Town: Pripyat Photo Gallery
Part Nine:
Reborn in Slavutych Photo Gallery
Part Ten:
All Aboard for Chernihiv Photo Gallery
Part Eleven:
Trains in the Exclusion Zone Photo Gallery
Part Twelve:
An Uncertain Future
Please note that this site makes the best effort to follow Ukrainian place names. Most English speakers are familiar with Chernobyl and Kiev, which are Russian spellings. Chornobyl and Kyiv are the proper Ukrainian spellings.
Radioactive Railroad