One symbol of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster is the town of Pripyat. Pripyat was built in the 1970's and grew its population and wealth for about 16 years before the accident. The town lies about 2 kilometers north from the power plant. The power plant employed thousands of the town's citizens. The town was actually called 'the town of the employees'.
In 1986, the town of Pripyat had about 50,000 inhabitants. The power plant delivered a huge amount of the former Soviet Union's energy supply and this brought considerable wealth to the town. The surroundings already had some tourists visiting before the accident. The river Pripyat was clean and beautiful. People made long cruises from Kiev with large river boats.
Before the accident, Pripyat had hotels, cafés and restaurants. The town was literally a playground for the Russian architects and experienced loads of new features. Pripyat served as an example for nine other Russian nuclear towns, 'atomograd's'. The were experiments to build certain types of housing, large boulevards, squares and plazas.
One experiment was to find out how profitable cinemas would be. Before the accident, there were 11 theaters in the town. There was also an amusement park in the town. The park was to be opened just five days after the disaster. The children would never drive the crash cars or experience the scenery from the ferris wheel.