Inside Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant 2011, Part I: Unit 3 and V Block

August 8, 2011

I just returned from another trip to Chernobyl. We visited some parts of the power plant that we didn’t get to see on last year’s trip, but—as I’m sure my readers can understand—one day at the station wasn’t enough and I’m left pining for more! (I’m particularly lusting after a certain pachyderm appendage, if you catch my drift.) Anyway, without further ado, here’s a gallery of select images from the Phase II end of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant—that is, from the Unit 3 reactor building and the Unit 3-4 ventilation building (in which is located a memorial to Valery Khodemchuk, the young engineer whose remains have never been recovered from the Unit 4 north main circulation pump engine hall). Click on any image for a larger version with my descriptive comments (and click again for the full-sized photograph).

I’m deeply indebted to Mr. Igor Gramotkin, General Director of ChNPP, and Ms. Irina Kovbich of ChNPP’s Information Department, for permission to visit, and a most fascinating tour of this unique facility.

Watch a short video of our trip to the Khodemchuk memorial:

To get a bearing on the station layout and the path we took within it, please see the floor plan at bottom, depicting the station’s +10/+12.5-meter elevation, compiled from an official plant safety document.  My comments in the photos / video make reference to specific locations visible on this map.

Floor plan of ChNPP Phase II, +10/+12.5-meter elevation


  1. Thank you so much for this post! It sure beats my Russian enrichment plant work, and they wouldn’t let me take any pictures in those plants, either.

    • Hi Bill! Thanks for reading. I’d love to know what you got to do in Russia, even if photos were strictly off-limits.

  2. We in the Highly Enriched Uranium Transparency Program monitored the metal to UF6 conversion and downblending of 90+ % enriched weapon uranium to enrichments around 3 to 4 % and the loading of UF6 cylinders for transport to U.S. fuel fabricators. Kind of routine in some pretty non-routine places for Americans. Here’s a link. Cindy Boggs, the contact given there, was my boss. We had some really fun sightseeing trips also. I worked in three locations- Novouralsk, Seversk, and Zelenogorsk. Never made it to Ozersk.


  3. Your photos and info are great, thanks for posting them!
    Have you visited the subreactor area (just under the reactor where the bottom servo drives for rods are located) of any of the three blocks? Only one photo and video have found of this area!


  4. Why I don’t see TG5 on this plan?

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