Visit Chernobyl: The “Hot” Vacation Spot For 2011

Filed in Gather News Channel by on December 15, 2010 0 Comments

The Ukraine plans to open the sealed area around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant to tourists in 2011, promising to be the “hottest” vacation spot around.  Book early.

The 30 mile area aroChernobyl Disaster.jpgund the power plant has been sealed since April, 1986, when one of the reactors at the site exploded.  This exclusion zone was highly contaminated after the blast.  

When Chernobyl’s reactor No.4 exploded it sent radioactive clouds in the air, poisoning vast areas in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, and contaminating parts of Europe.  According to, hundreds of thousands of people were resettled from the worst-affected areas of the Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.  It was the worst nuclear accident in the history of the world.

During the first days following the accident, 28 people died of radiation sickness.

Today a workforce of about 2,500 maintains the plant, working in shifts to minimize their exposure to the radiation.  There are reportedly a few firms which have been offering tours of the area, but the government says that these tours are illegal.

The Ukraine decided to open the area for tours to people that wish to better understand what happened there in 1986.  They also see the financial benefits of offering these tours.  

A spokeswoman for Emergency Situations Ministry, Yulia Yershova, says that experts are developing routes that will be both medically safe and informative for visitors.  

Although a tour of the site would be interesting and informative, one would have to weigh the risks of exposing oneself to radiation against what might be gained.  The government is in need of funds to pay for the replacement of the containment structure, the current one is cracked and leaking radiation and in danger of collapsing, as well as the mounting costs of medical care in the aftermath of the accident.  So one might ask:  are they “rushing” and minimizing the risks for the money?

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