Digital History - Histoire Numérique

After the Fallout: Historical Memory of the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

This exhibit covers the 30-kilometer exclusion zone surrounding the site of the worst nuclear accident in history: Reactor 4 at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP).

You will learn about the history of the accident, explore areas of interest within the exclusion zone, hear firsthand accounts from those who lived and worked in the zone, as well as inform yourself about trends in popular culture related to Chernobyl.


 I chose this topic because it is not widely discussed despite the severity of the repercussions it had on many lives, the environment, and even politics. It is important to me that I foster my interest in this portion of history because there are many missing links and documentation -- I would like to fill in some gaps and hope to inspire others to do so as well. If history is not discussed or preserved, it can be lost to time. As the power plant and infrastructure in the exclusion zone decays, its history slowly slips away. As liquidators and former residents age, their narrative is at risk of being forgotten. This is why it is important to take action, to take it upon ourselves to make this history available for future generations. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster was both a terrible tragedy and a valuable lesson learned. By remembering its profound and damaging effects, we can ensure that history does not repeat itself.


Kayleigh Gagné, Department of History, Carleton University