In 1986 the Chernobyl nuclear power plant near Pripyat in Ukraine lost control of one of its four reactors resulting in a chain reaction which created a series of explosions, some 134 people were treated for exposure to radiation and all 49,000 inhabitants of the city of Pripyat were evacuated. The city became a ghost town and an exclusion zone with a radius of 30km was established, no humans were permitted to enter that zone due to dangerously high levels of radiation – that exclusion zone still exists.
Whilst humans were excluded from the area there was nothing that authorities could do about animals and birds accessing the area, and the documentary Chernobyl: Life in the Dead Zone focuses on the thriving ecology of the area. Humans have been replaced by countless numbers of bears and wolves, the area is as green as ever. It was first aired by Discovery in 2007.