Alive In Chernobyl

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20110425

On the 25th anniversary of the worst nuclear accident in history, Olga Betko travels to Chernobyl - in her native Ukraine - to find the people who are living in the "dead zone".

In the last week of April 1986, when the nuclear reactor exploded showering deadly radiation over the surrounding area, thousands of power station workers and their families were evacuated.

It wasn't until a week later that the peasants who also lived in the 'Exclusion Zone', were also evacuated.

By then many had been contaminated.

Life in the cities did not suit this group of people with its strong and ancient ties to the land.

Many suffered from depression and also prejudice, having fled the contaminated area.

Over the years a number of small groups of elderly rural people have defied the radiation and returned to live in their abandoned villages and are working the land they love.

Olga Betko, visits these tiny remote communities to see how they are surviving in isolation and recovering a poisoned homeland.

She also looks for other signs of life in the Exclusion Zone: when humans left, there was a resurgence in animal population.

Olga Betko finds the people who have returned to live in a nuclear 'dead zone'.