The Chernobyl disaster, which occurred on April 26, 1986, was one of the world's greatest nuclear accidents, and has often been depicted or satirized in cultural media. has received worldwide media attention.


  • The disaster is the plot-driving device in the 1988 Marvel Comics miniseries Meltdown, featuring Wolverine and Havok.
  • Martin Cruz Smith's 2005 novel, Wolves Eat Dogs, is set mostly in Chernobyl, when Moscow detective Arkady Renko investigates the murder of a powerful businessman in that area, after the businessman's partner has died in Moscow of radiation poisoning. Both victims are found to have had some involvement with the accident, twenty years earlier.
  • The novella The Dragon of Pripyat (2001), written by Karl Schroeder, and featured in the seventeenth edition of The Year's Best Science Fiction edited by Gardner Dozois, is set in the area of Pripyat, Ukraine, where the meltdown occurred. The plot revolves around a terrorist threatening to demolish the "sarcophagus" (the concrete shelter encasing the failed reactor) with explosives, and re-release radioactive materials into the area.

Both Renko and the protagonist of The Dragon follow many of the same behavioral protocols for traveling through irradiated areas demonstrated by real-life travelers through the area (such as Elena Filatova).

  • The VICK award winning novel Party Headquarters by Bulgarian author Georgi Tenev deals with Chernobyl impact on the integrity of the former Communist block in the late 80's. Large episode of the book is set as an exchange of letters between the protagonist and “little unknown Soviet and Ukrainian comrade” describing the catastrophe with significant level of astonishment and paradoxical excitement.


  • The song Kiev by Barclay James Harvest, from their 1987 album Face To Face, was inspired by the disaster, and laments the suffering it caused to the region.[citation needed]
  • The music video for the song What We Made by Example is shot on location at Pripyat, focusing on the some parts of the city that has been greatly affected by the disaster.
  • The german electronic-band Kraftwerk mentiones Chernobyl at the beginning of their 1991-Remix of their song 'Radioactivity'.

Film and television[]

  • In the second-season episode "The Host" of The X-Files, the episode's main antagonist, a mutant creature dubbed "Fluke-Man" is traced to a Russian freighter that was carrying radioactive sewage away from Chernobyl.
  • On September 30, 2009, Destination Truth, a reality television series on Syfy, aired an episode that features a paranormal investigation located at the site.
  • In the film Hot Tub Time Machine, the main characters bring with them to 1986 an energy drink called Chernobly-y, a clear reference to the disaster.
  • In an episode of Married with Children, Al Bundy's men's group are sampling a variety of beers, one of which is supposed to have come from Chernobyl, and has an eyeball in the can.

Video games[]

  • The computer games S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and its prequel S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky and sequel S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, are based on the Chernobyl plant and the surrounding areas.
  • The video game Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare features a single-player mission taking place in Pripyat in the early 1990s. Pripyat has been abandoned since the disaster, which makes it a conveniently secret meeting place for a group of Russian radicals, whom the S.A.S. has been tasked to spy on and assassinate. This mission is referred to in the game's sequel, Modern Warfare 2, which also features multiplayer maps and a co-op mission set in Pripyat.


  • The Strugatsky brothers' 1972 novel, Roadside Picnic, though it was written before the disaster, turned out to be eerily prophetic in a number of ways. The novel revolves around the site of an alien visitation, around which there is a no man's land referred to as the Zone of alienation, or simply as "The Zone," (a term that was copied when referring to the site of the Chernobyl disaster).
  • The 1979 film adaptation of Roadside Picnic, Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker is likewise considered prophetic in its depiction of "the Zone" after the accident. At the time however, the film was thought to have drawn its visual inspiration from an accident at the Mayak nuclear fuel reprocessing plant, which occurred in 1957.[1]
  • In the art book Drawing and Painting the Undead, a creature known as the Pripyat Beast is described, a horrific amalgam of mutated human and horse bodies fused together and re-animated, zombie fashion by the radiation, that do battle with the unfortunate Soviet cleanup squads, called "Hunters". It supposedly came around because of the Pripyat meltdown that sparked the Chernobyl Incidient.

See also[]

  • Chernobyl disaster
  • Chernobyl Heart
  • List of Chernobyl-related articles


Further reading[]

External links[]