Located in a 10 km2 radius area surrounding the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant , the red forest ( Рудий лі ) got it’s iconic name because of the pine Scotch pine trees (Pinus silvestris) which turned a reddish color in the wake of the disaster.
In the post-disaster cleanup operations, the Red Forest was bulldozed and buried in situ in “waste graveyards”, none of the contaminated wood get burned which could have released radioactive material into the atmosphere and spread the radioelements . Unfortunatly the burial of radioactive trees occurred in trenches at level of local groundwater system which eventualy has led to the contamination of groundwater with radioactive substances.
It is virtually divide into 4 zones according by the initial the level of radiation . The first zone wich suffered a complete loss of pines was exposed to an average gama radiation level of 500 mR/h and is nowaday one of the most contaminated areas in all the exclusion zone with exposure dose between 1 to 3 mR/h . It’s is also one of the area where genetic mutation can be observed on newly growing trees.