Americans Living in Slavutych Near Chernobyl

ABC News has an interesting article and accompanying video (“Living Near Chernobyl”) on their website about an American Radiation Protection Physicist, Joel Hoyt, who with his family has moved from their home in Washington state to Slavutych, Ukraine.

Hoyt works at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant, working on the Chernobyl Shelter Implementation Program. He spends his days tracking radiation leakage from cracks in the Sarcophagus structure, and develops maintenance plans to insure the safety of workers and citizens in nearby communities.

The story and 3-minute video focus on Hoyt, his wife Alisa and daughter Jocelyn (their son Trevor is also with them). Jocelyn is the only American in her class. She speaks and sings Ukrainian, serving as a translator for reporter David Wright.

This is definitely worth a quick look.

Additional Information

The Hoyts moved to Slavutych in late 2005 and live in a 3-bedroom cottage. Alisa is home-schooling Trevor while Jocelyn attends a local kindergarten. Trevor plays soccer and Jocelyn takes dance lessons.

Joel Hoyt works for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and has been involved in an international effort to stabilize the existing Sarcophagus.

Slavutych is a small city with a population of approximately 25,000, and was built in late 1986 as a replacement for Pripyat. The city is located approximately 50 km northeast of the Chernobyl plant. Current employees of the plant are required to live in the city.


Nice find, Mark...that was a great story. And what an interesting experience for that young girl!

Thanks Lindsay. It's hard to imagine such a young person having to speak a "foreign" language in school, though I suppose it could be easier at that age than as an adult.