Amid the complicated real-life equations and compromises – where science and politics meet to figure out the viability of nuclear energy – the long, deep, human parable of Chernobyl is often lost. That story is partly embodied in an unlikely community of some 100 people, called ‘self-settlers’ who, today, live inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Almost all of them are women. The men having died off due to overuse of alcohol and cigarettes, if not the effects of elevated radiation. The women, now in their 70s and 80s, are the last of a group of some 1,200 people who defied authorities – and it would seem, common sense – and illegally returned to their ancestral homes shortly after the accident.
Chatham House 23rd March 2016 read more »