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Thirty-two years after Chernobyl, Natalia finally returns home

Natalia slows down the walls but does not touch anything, for fear of radiation, while tears are flowing in her cheeks: 32 years after Chernobyl's disaster, she is home in the ghost town of Pripyat.

"Come in and be welcome, this is apartment # 3, we lived there until 1986," said this 50-year-old dark-haired woman carefully.

The life of his family rocked on April 26, 1986 when the No. 4 reactor at Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded and contaminated much of Europe.

The 50,000 inhabitants of Pripyat, a city built just two kilometers from Central to the house's employees, had evacuated the day after the worst nuclear disaster in history. Among them, Natalia's parents and sisters.

Part-time study in Kiev two years earlier, the girl often returned to see them. She also had to do it on a blast day on a Saturday, but stayed at the bus station saying that the buses no longer went there.

Despite the extent of the accident, the Soviet authorities had tried to conceal it, Governor Mikhail Gorbachev began to intervene only on May 1


Finally, nearly 350,000 people had evacuated within a radius of 30 kilometers around the power plant, a zone of exclusion, always Uninhabited

"My parents could not refuse to return," reminds Natalia. "It was a very hard blow to them".

His father was the only one who returned to his abandoned home, while involved in cleaning around the power plant in the 1980s. An experience that was traumatic to him and deterred Natalia for a long time.

– Time travel –

"I was not morally ready and I also wondered what effect (radiation) would have on my health, because I had children to raise," says this businesswoman who lives in Kiev. "But this year I realized it was time to go because the buildings fell apart."

To get there, she paid a day trip to Chernobyl and returned with her husband without saying anything to other family members.

It's in another world she's coming. Be the international symbol of the danger of the atom, the dream city of his childhood is nothing but a vest. Residential buildings have their windows broken, the roads are covered with mosses and the dense vegetation has undesirable its delayed neighborhood.

At the sound of the dosimeter that continues to beep, signals a high degree of radiation, the pair spikes a passage through the undergrowth. After a lot of walks and thanks to a GPS navigator she stops finding the desired address: 30, rue Lessia Oukraïnka.

"It's here!" Natalia ends first and fetches. "Do you think I can come in?" She asks in a nice way, the authorities in the area forbid to do it because of the risk of collapse, then she drops in the dark entrance.

"Here is the list of residents! Shevchuk, apartment three, that's my name!" Cried Natalia. Two steps and she is in her apartment on the ground floor, whose door is open. One room, another, the living room … "It's so small, it used to be so big" she sighs as she walks on the broken, moldy floor.

In a library, books are still hanging out. "That's Mom Who Bought It" she continues before he starts crying. She says she feels a sense of "guilt" for "humanity that makes it happen".

Her husband, a strong man with silver hair cut a lot of cards, films around to show them to her two sons as they plan to bring him one day. "She had dreamed of it for a long time and I said, let's go," he says.

"I did not even hope to come in, look the most out of the window!" his wife adds. After the first feelings she seems almost calm.

"I found what I lost, at least a small part of my memory," she says. "It's very scary, at first it was a shock, but then I feel I've done my duty to my city and my apartment, that I do not forget and do it will never forget."

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