You are welcome to apply for excursions. When the war is over and it is safe to visit the Chernobyl Zone, we will contact you.

The Claw of Death

The Chernobyl tragedy happened almost 40 years ago, but it has not been forgotten to this day. The huge exclusion zone around the nuclear power plant keeps many terrible exhibits on its territory, for example, the claw of death.

chernobyl claw

One of the Most Radioactive Sights of Chernobyl

The claw of death or a radioactive bucket – this particular exhibit is being sought as one of the most dangerous and radioactive in Pripyat.

The artifact, which both scares and attracts tourists, is hidden between the trees. The bucket took its place from the moment when the operation to clean up the yard of the Chernobyl plant was ended. 

Today, it is located in the yard of the Service of Special Engineering Works in Pripyat. The claw was used in the decontamination process of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986. According to different data, it was involved in cleaning up the roof of the exploded unit either from concrete or uranium and graphite debris.

Why the bucket was left in the middle of the road is not clear. Probably in a hurry, the bucket was simply left in place and forgotten about. But thanks to this, it turned into an interesting exhibit, which is always included in the tours to Chernobyl.

chernobyl claw of death

What is the Radiation Level Near the Claw of Death

Even now, it is highly contaminated. You can measure there from a couple of dozens of microsieverts to more than thousands μSv/hour.

According to the dosimeter, the radiation level at a distance of 10 meters from the claw of death is already off the scale. And near it, gamma radiation is 130 micro roentgen per hour.

Notice that the natural background is considered to be no more than 20 mR / h. The average annual dose according to SanPiN for a person is 0.5 roentgen (together with 3-fold fluorography per year, and civil aviation flights).

chernobyl radioactive claw

Is It Dangerous to Visit the Claw of Death

Despite the increased level of radiation it is not too dangerous to approach the bucket itself, even on an official excursion to Chernobyl this place is included in the program. Of course, it’s not good to go for a walk every day to places with high radiation levels. But to catch a deadly dose, you’ll have to settle down there for a long time. 

So visiting it isn’t dangerous taking into account general safety rules of the zone. For example, if you take the figure 13 mR / h, then you can get into the bucket and sit there for 38 hours to get some dangerous dose of radiation. You should not do this of course. But many people who come to visit Chernobyl take photos near the claw of death or right in it.

The strangest thing is that the bucket is still just lying on the surface not far from the accident place. It cannot be buried or melted due to the possible irradiation of the soil and groundwater. You can see The Claw of Death with your own eyes with our exclusive Chernobyl tours.

The Claw of Death in Chernobyl FAQ

What is the Claw of Death in Chernobyl?

The Claw of Death or Claw of Chernobyl is a heavy-duty piece of machinery that was used to remove highly radioactive debris immediately after the Chernobyl disaster. Its nickname comes from its appearance and the dangerous task it performed.

Where is the Claw of Death located?

The Claw of Death is currently located in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, where it remains highly radioactive. It can be seen during certain guided tours of the area.

Is the Claw of Death safe to visit?

As the Claw of Death is still highly radioactive, visitors cannot get too close to it. It is safe to view from a distance, as indicated by tour guides.

Can I take pictures of the Claw of Death?

Yes, it’s generally safe to take pictures of the Claw of Death, but remember to maintain a safe distance and follow the instructions of your guide.

What role did the Claw of Death play in the Chernobyl cleanup?

The Claw of Death was used to handle and remove highly radioactive materials from the site of the disaster. This included debris from the exploded reactor.

Is the Claw of Death the only piece of its kind?

There were several similar pieces of machinery used in the cleanup effort, but the Claw of Death is one of the most well-known due to its continued high levels of radioactivity.

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