The Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Pripyat in the Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union.

The deadly blast was caused by a station-wide power blackout, a safety systems failure and a flaw in the reactor culminating in a steam explosion and graphite fire.

Two people died immediately as a result of the explosion with 28 firemen and employees later dying in the days and months that followed.

134 people in total were hospitalised.

It remains one of the worst nuclear disasters in history and the reactor has since been declared to be beyond repair.

The area that it sits on and the surrounding site is now virtually uninhabitable due to the extreme radiation levels.

Experts believe that the area won't be safe for another 20,000 years.

However, in 2011 the Ukrainian government opened up Chernobyl so that tourists could learn more about the tragedy that happened there.

In recent years many people have taken photographs and documented the current condition of the site.

Most recently, journalist and nuclear war expert Julie McDowall visited Chernobyl and her photos and accompanying captions will be sobering for anyone.

The area has now been overrun with nature and wildlife.

According to Julie there are lost of stray dogs now in Chernobyl but most of them are nice and playful.

People still live in the Chernobyl as only Pripyat and over nearby villages are abandoned.

From the St Elijah's Church in Chernobyl, you can see the true extent of the damage.

Given the current climate surrounding nuclear weapons, these images will be a stark reminder of the dangers of nuclear energy.

HT Twitter

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