For three years photographer Niels Ackermann followed the life of Yulia, a 23-year-old he met in 2012. The young woman lives in Slavutych, Ukraine, a town near Chernobyl built for disaster evacuees. "These essentially are the children of Chernobyl," Ackermann said.
Slavutych is surrounded by a dense pine forest. When the architects in charge of the project picked the location to build the town, they selected this place in the middle of a forest because the end of a railway line made the transportation of construction material easier.
Yulia and Dima celebrate the payment of a friend's salary in 2012.
The nine-floor Hotel Viktoria in Slavutych remains incomplete. Although access is forbidden, the city's teenagers often hang out there, Ackermann said.
A mural in an empty school in the abandoned Ukrainian town of Pripyat.
A young man performs acrobatics on a fixed bar at a playground in Slavutych. There aren't many career options in the area and there's not much to keep young people entertained, Ackermann said.
A mock-up of the city is displayed in the local museum.
Zhenya lies on Yulia's shoulder in 2013. Ackermann watched Yulia turn into a young adult through his camera's viewfinder. He saw her struggle as she moved from job to job and from a party lifestyle to relationships, marriage and then divorce.
A radioactive field near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
A young woman looks out at the ghost town of Pripyat.
Yulia panics before getting ready for her wedding in 2013.
Zhenya and Yulia celebrate their marriage in June 2013.
Flowers bloom in Slavutych's central park.
Now, Yulia works as a translator at the most important job site in the region: the New Safe Confinement arch that's being built to permanently seal the remains of the burned nuclear reactor.
Zhenya's dog looks out the window.
A view from the bus connecting Kiev to Slavutych.
Yulia looks over the rails at her job site. If all goes as planned during the final phase of the project in 2017, the New Safe Confinement's gigantic, 30-story-tall arch will slide over the ruined reactor and the site will be sealed forever.