Red Forest is considered to be one of the most radioactive locations on Earth. The areas is around ten square kilometer and is located in Polesia, surrounding the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. In a tragic accident, Chernobly Nuclear Plant tragically blew apart in a meltdown, due to which there was a nuclear fallout spread across the area. Although things have changed now, the surroundings still contain some of the most radioactive patches.
Researchers from the University of Bristol conducted a survey across the land using a suite of drones. Through the robotic aircraft most recent information was acquired on the contamination of the land. Two types of unmanned aerial vehicles were used for the survey for mapping fifteen square kilometers, but excluded 3D zone. The team used LIDAR to measure contours in the landscape while recording radiation levels with a lightweight gamma-ray spectrometer. A rotary-wing UAV was also used to get a closer look at anything that caught their eye. The drone mapping project was initiated eight miles away from the epicenter at a village called Buriakivka. These drones captured images of long abandoned buildings in the village, they could also surveyed partially demolished places of Kopachi.
The UK researchers flew around 50 drones in 10 days and mapped a total of 5.8 square miles by spending 24 hours in the air. According to the article published in 2017 in Nuclear Technology Journal, the first explosion was nuclear in nature and was not a steam explosion. However researchers believe it was a jet of debris ejected to an altitude of almost two miles by a series of nuclear explosions within the Chernobyl reactor. Some 2.7 seconds later, the team recorded a steam explosion which ruptured the reactor and sent more debris into the atmosphere at lower altitudes.
Reports suggest an explosion which occurred on April 26, 1986 was not reported by Soviet authorities for two days. This explosion was considered as environmental disaster in which nearly 30 workers died either from the explosion or from an acute radiation sickness. This accident lead to the evacuation of hundreds of towns and villages in Ukraine and Belarus as they were exposed to dangerous radiations. Atomic Energy Agency estimated a total death count to 4000 whereas World Health Organization (WHO) claimed 9000 deaths. Based on the report by Environmental group Greenpeace, there were approximately 270,000 cancers and 93,000 fatal cancer cases as a consequence to this disaster. It is estimated that total death count reached to around 200,000 in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.
In spite of the tragic history of the place, the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is getting a new life because of the installation of solar panels.