Monday, April 23, 2018

Trip to Chernobyl 6 チェルノブイリツアーに参加する6

After visiting radar facility, we arrived at Pripyat and walked around the center. Construction of this city was started in 1970, a new city for workers at the nuclear power plants and their family, is situated in the 4km distance from the power plant. A city with a hospital with high-tech equipment, schools, a supermarket where people came from Kiyv for shopping by driving cars for one and a half hours, a movie theater and a sports center with indoor pool, an amusement park and multistory apartment houses, which the USSR built as a future role model. The average age of the inhabitants was 26, it was a suitable city which represents future. Before the accident the fifth and the sixth reactor were under construction, including the workers that were to work at the new plant, there were almost 50.000 people living in the city.


Radioactive elements from the reactor were brought toward North and West by the wind. Radiation in the areas which were the passway of these radioactive elements is still very high. The forest in the West of the reactor is called "red forest", trees died and turned into red. In these areas it is not allowed to get off the vehicles, there is a lowest speed limit to avoid being exposed to radiation. We were not able to go there during this tour. Pripyat stands between these areas where radioactive elements flew, many people were able to evacuate in safe. For citizens, it was Kamikaze, the wind blown by God.


Trip to Chernobyl 5 チェルノブイリツアーに参加する5

At the entrance of 10km zone, there is the next checkpoint, Leliv. Our guide stepped out of the bus with a file, talked peacefully with a guard man, then soon back to the bus. We were going to see a facility which the USSR built during cold war time. Driving a straight street through the forest, we got to an open space.


Radar system called Duga-1. This is one of three similar facilities which were built in the USSR, to enable to detect launched nuclear missiles without using satellite system. By sending out a signal in a certain angle to the air, most of it will go in the outer space. However, these three huge radar facilities would detect a part of the weak signal which reflects and returns back to the ground. Then the signal will be analyzed to know if something is in the high above the air and from which and to which direction it is moving.


Our guide told us that our Geiger counter may start alarming soon and not to touch anything of the facility because it was fully exposed to radioactive materials. My Geiger counter started to beep when it showed values above 0.3uSv. After the accident they stopped using this, other two were dismantled, but this one they are not able to do by now to avoid spreading radioactive elements again to the air.


Trip to Chernobyl 4 チェルノブイリツアーに参加する4

The next station was Chernobyl. It became famous in the world. The city is actually an old city from the Principality of Kiev, it was mentioned in 1193. Through the broadcast by USSR, its Russian name spread in the world, its Ukrainian name is Chornobyl.


The city is on Dnieper river and was important for commerce and trading. After the accident, water pipes were newly installed above the ground to provide factories not to dig up soils in case of reparation and let radioactive elements fly again in the air.


Trip to Chernobyl 3 チェルノブイリツアーに参加する3

The first place we went in the zone was the small village Zalisia. We walked in the forest and some small houses were among trees. Most of the houses are of one story with about three rooms. The floor and the walls were of the wooden plate, some floor plates fell decayed after a long time. On the day of the disaster, inhabitants were told to bring money and food or water for several days with them and they evaluated in two hours. 


In the center of the village, there was a community hall. A fine stone building with an elegant decoration in the front, a sign of the USSR and the year 1959, on the top of the entrance and windows there were reliefs of ivy. On the thick curtain of the stage, a slogan was written "Live long communism, bright future of all human beings" to raise the national ambition of the USSR where people were relatively poor compared to the Western counties with the new technology.

集落の中心には集会場がある。立派な石造りの建物で、正面には気品のある装飾が施されているおり、ソ連のマークと1959年という数字が見える。入り口や窓の上には蔦を象ったモチーフが見える。ステージの緞帳には 「共産党よ末永く、全人類の輝かしい未来」という共産党のスローガン。原子力が未来を象徴しており、西側と比べて貧しいソ連邦内の意識高揚のため。

Trip to Chernobyl 2 チェルノブイリツアーに参加する2

At first, the bus traveled to the checkpoint Dytiatky at the entrance of 30km zone. Our guide explained how we should use Geiger counter which each of us received in the morning. He recommended us to secure water during the walk in the zone because here was the last chance to buy before entering. Outside of this checkpoint, there is an information center, so-to-say a souvenir shop. A rather small one which is in the size of modified minibus or something. They sold T-shirts, stickers, mags besides some snacks and water.


He also explained what we should pay attention to in the zone. Not to touch anything, not to eat outside of the bus (to drink water from pet bottle should be ok), not to stand on the knee to take pictures, to walk exactly where guide walks, to pay attention to all directions: up, down, right, left, front and back when moving, not to play with dogs.


Our guild told us that there is also the closed area on the other side of the border between Belarus. But tourists cannot enter there, or they will be instantly arrested. The guide introduced himself to us and told that his father is from England. He spoke excellent English with lots of information. Ukrainian government plans to apply for UNESCO, it needs a big budget to prepare facilities and lodging. 


Trip to Chernobyl 1 チェルノブイリツアーに参加する1

To the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl where there was a tragedy 32 years ago, there are some guided tours now. This time I joined a full-day tour. The tour starts from the central station of Kyiv and takes about one and a half hour to get there. When I was in Kyiv last time, it was the first week of a new year and also Christmas time in Ukraine. I was not able to find a tour with a suitable schedule. In the group of the guided tour in English, there were about 12 people.


This time, I can spend the day, on April 26th in Kyiv, the day the incident occurred exactly 32 years ago, I wanted to visit Chernobyl museum, too. Japan has to discommission the broken reactor, as Ukraine did. They started more than 10 years ago. What will be necessary for Japan? I wanted to have time to learn more about the power plant, disaster and discommissioning.


In this tour, we can step into the 30km zone from the epicenter, where all the people have evacuated from there, and 10km zone. To enter the 10km zone, we have to go through a checkpoint. Tour agency collects participants' name and passport information in advance and without the name in the list, no one can go further. Each participant shows the passport at the checkpoint. It is just to secure that nobody can bring any radioactive element outside.

今回のツアーでは、事故当時避難対象となった30km区域、それから10km区域にも立ち入ることができる。30km区域、10km区域に入るにはそれぞれ検問があり、事前に名前とパスポートなどの情報を含めた名前のリストがないと立ち入り出来ないため、ツアー会社がそれを取りまとめ、ツアー参加者はパスポートを持参して検問所にて検問を受ける。 これは誰も放射線に汚染されたものを外に持ち出し出来ないようにするための措置だ。

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The oldest in the world 世界最古の...

I had a short break before major vacation season will come. My visit to the beer brewery which is the oldest in the world: Weihenstephan in Freising, Germany. The city is very close to the Munich airport.


The trip to Germany by train. I have an Austrian card with which I can use trains within Austria for free, it cost me just 28.5 Euro.


First to Munich, then change train to Freising. Not very far from Munich, on the way there, the landscape changes.


From the station, I just try to reach on foot. The weather is very fine and beer should taste excellent in such the day. I just followed the sign on the street. I walked into a small path along a small river. There were lots of fish swimming in the river.

駅からは歩いて行ってみることにする。とてもいい天気で、こんな日はビールが最高にうまい。道にある標識をたどって行く。 車の入れない散歩道に入り、小川に沿って歩いていく。橋からはたくさん魚が泳いでいるのが見える。

It took me 40 minutes to come. On the top of a hill was the brewery and there is also an university just by that. Maybe professors (and students also?) enjoy their lunch there very much every day!


In beer garden were almost full with customers. I sat at a big table shared with other people. While I was waiting, a man told me that the table is without service and I have to fetch drink and food by myself. By the way, what a nice beer garden.


I tried first pilsner beer to wet my throat after walk.


Then, I tried wheat beer, which I can find in some bars in Vienna, too, from tap. This can be the representative beer from this brand. Decent sweetness.

続いて、ウィーンでも樽から飲めるバーが数軒ある、ここのヴァイツェン。代名詞と言ってもいいかもしれない。 上品な甘味だ。

The group by me were in cycling suites, I asked them where they came from. Munich. They had some rest with beer here. Local people are very proud of their beer in Munich. Yes, absolutely true.


Slowly I became hungry, I entered in the restaurant. The last beer I had here was 1516 keller beer. It was wonderful. Maybe the beer with their old recipe?

しばらくしてお腹が空いてきたので、中に入る。 最後に飲んだビール、シーズンビールだが、これがおいしかった。1516 ケラービール。おそらく古いレシピのビールだろう。