One afternoon we visited the small memorial in the parking lot next to reactor 4. This is about as close as visitors can get to the actual site of the accident unless they are given special permission to cross the fence and go inside the facility. Not more than a hundred yards from here is the destroyed corner of reactor 4 and the makeshift wall that was built to try and contain the dangers within.

The Chernobyl reactors each have a single vent stack reaching high in to the sky. In designing the new safe confinement the engineers made the decision to add a second vent that was shorter than the first and tear down the taller vent. When I visited the exclusion zone the second vent had been finished, and they were just getting ready to dismantle the first. A few months after this photo was taken in May 2013 the original reactor 4 vent was completely torn down.