Discovery Channel / Vision House, Warsaw.  Chernobyl, the evacuated town of Pripyat in Ukraine and very special access deep within the decommissioned reactor ‘Chernobyl 3’. was eeerie to say the least – shoes, broken plates, furniture and an open book were just a few of the things left behind during the mass evacuation of some 47,000 people following the explosion and fire in Chernobyl 4 in 1986. the scale of decay is truly haunting…but life does go on – 5000 people work on the ‘Zone’.

Security is tight – the military controlled ‘Zone’ and multiple checkpoints, steel turnstiles and body scans are all for the good. We enter the long gold-coloured anodised aluminium clad corridors with ceramic tiled floors, stair-wells with plastic / resin steps lead to a small chamber – at the end is the heaviest door I’ve ever seen – 6 inches of solid steel painted red and, in the centre, a yellow triangle spelling out its warning. Wing-bolts turn easily and the door swings on vast hinges to allow access to the floor of the reactor hall for the decommissioned Chernobyl 3. Time is limited, breathing though the mask is making filming difficult…next is the Control Room, adorned with arrays of bakelight switch-gear, dozens of dials and a curved desk like Mission Control and Cape Canaveral only it was beyond archaic. I couldn’t believe that this impossible system could control a nuclear reaction…