Donald Weber Photographer

Into the Half-Life

“Uranium is the mineral of Apocalypse. It is a fearsome animal caged in this exotic metal. Hot as the sun, but one whose instabilities could be accurately charted and precisely aimed.” – Tom Zoellner

The city of Zholtye Vody, meaning yellow waters, in Ukraine was once the hub of uranium mining and enriching during the Soviet era. The region of Dnepropetrovsk Oblast was a major center of design and production of the atomic industry. Today, over half the population of 60,000 people suffer from some sort of radiation sickness as their homes were built using materials contaminated with uranium and are within two kilometers of two nuclear waste sites as well as the enrichment factory, which all combine to make a lethal dose said to be much worse than Chernobyl.

View the short film.