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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ukrainian leader wants to develop tourism in Chernobyl forbidden zone

KIEV, April 26, 2006 (AFP) -

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko late Wednesday vowed to develop tourism in the contaminated zones around the Chernobyl plant where a reactor exploded 20 years ago, causing the worst nuclear accident in history.

"I am convinced this is necessary," Yushchenko said in an interview to state television channel Ut-1, adding this would help teach the public about the risks of nuclear energy.

"We must see Chernobyl as it is ... I am convinced that millions of people must see the reactor with their own eyes," he said.

"I am convinced that for many people, Ukrainian citizens, seeing a village (in the contaminated zones) with its jarring doors and its jarring windows, with with its yards where bushes grow and its abandoned gardens -- these will also be lessons that will impress people even more than the destroyed reactor," the Ukrainian leader added.

On April 26, 1986, two pre-dawn explosions ripped apart Chernobyl's reactor number four. The blasts at the Soviet-era plant created a cloud of radioactive dust that drifted over a large swathe of Europe and still haunts millions of people in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

Many claim the disaster played a key role in the fall of the Soviet Union, whose leadership concealed the extent of the accident from its own people and the world for several days. Evacuations from affected areas began only a day and a half after the disaster.

To this day, the plant is surrounded by a forbidden zone that is 30 kilometers (20 miles) in radius. A few Ukrainian travel agencies organize trips there, but they are mostly booked by foreigners.
 

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^^
I would prefer to go to Chernobyl rather than to go to Auschwitz or another Nazi Deathcamp, eventough I'm going to the nazi death camp Natzweiller-Struthof in France, near strasbourg, were staying in a Castle!!! 3 days:D
 

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Hmmm, book me in.

NOT

Contamination exclusion zone? If this perimeter is still maintained, surely that would indicate it's still contaminated?!

Besides, even if it was declared safe by authorities, I certainly wouldn't believe it, or be game enough to risk it.

As educational, fascinating and horryifying as it may be, (I've watched Battle Of Chernobyl, which was frightening but excellent) I'd rather demolish a 50's house made entirely of asbestos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Chernobyl - where better to slake a tourist's thirst?
10 May 2009
Independent On Sunday

Spring is in the air down in the beautiful Cotswolds. Bluebells carpet the woods while lambs are agambolling in the lush fields. Sadly I know this only from telephone calls home as I'm on a weekend break in Chernobyl.

Only 5,000 visitors a year leave Kiev, the handsome capital of the Ukraine, to take a minibus to the "exclusion zone". This is an area 30km around reactor No 4 of the V I Lenin nuclear power station that blew up on 26 April 1986, covering Europe in a radioactive cloud.

I was at school at the time, and I remember newscasters pointing to frightening maps of the Continent showing wind patterns and the advance of "the cloud". Some teachers at school started wearing masks and doom-laden predictions were everywhere in the press.

Sound familiar? Like swine flu, the radioactive fallout from Chernobyl was an invisible enemy that terrified populations by its very non-tangible existence. Around Chernobyl, 140,000 people were moved permanently out of the exclusion zone. Official figures of 2,000 deaths do not reflect the huge scale of subsequent casualties from cancers and disease.

If it wasn't for an extraordinarily dangerous operation undertaken by firefighters, soldiers and conscripted miners, a second, far more deadly explosion, would have taken place at the reactor, leaving vast swathes of Eastern Europe uninhabitable. It was not only an invisible enemy but an almost invisible story of heroism.

Most authorities now claim that when visiting Chernobyl you're exposed to less radiation than you would be on a long-haul flight. Nobody seems to have told the Ukrainian army this. We go through endless Geiger counter sweeps and detailed inspection of passports and documentation. Finally, we breach the inner 10-km zone and head straight for the concrete sarcophagus in which the reactor was sealed. It was a temporary measure meant to last 20 years.

It is now in its 23rd year so we don't hang about looking at it for too long. For one thing it's not that exciting. For another, our guide's Geiger counter is beeping frantically. We're unsure if this is just to give us a bit of a tourist thrill but we move on sharpish.

Far more extraordinary is the nearby town of Pripyat, just a mile from the reactor, from which 50,000 people were evacuated. But that was not until three days after the accident as nobody bothered to tell them anything until then. It's an eerie place, an overgrown ghost town, a time capsule from the mid-Eighties Soviet Union.

The most poignant building is the school. Books lie strewn around broken desks. Deflated basketballs sit abandoned on the broken wooden floor of the gym. On one wall, posters show the kids what to do in the event of a nuclear attack from the West.

Just one week before the accident the school held a full civil emergency drill in which the children donned gas masks and went down into their bomb shelters. Little did they know that the real enemy was sitting just one mile away from them with most of their parents working inside it.

Drained, we retreated to the town of Chernobyl for lunch. It's about 10km away and some key workers are allowed to stay there for shift periods. It was a relief to get some distance between the reactor and us.

We all washed our hands a little too hard before placing them in a Heath Robinson machine that our guide called a "doseometer". If it beeped green we were clear. Nobody explained what might happen should the machine flash red. We didn't ask: we just wanted lunch and a beer. Atomic tourism is thirsty work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ukraine to develop tourism in Chernobyl zone
Excerpt

KIEV, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainian authorities will develop tourism in the area near the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukraine's state agency for the Chernobyl zone management said Thursday.

In particular, a new hotel and an information center for tourists will be opened in Chernobyl in the near future, the agency said on Facebook.

In addition, tourism experts will develop new routes for visitors across the most interesting sites of the area, it said.

The Chernobyl plant, located some 110 km from Kiev, witnessed one of the worst nuclear accidents in human history on April 26, 1986.

Since 2010, Chernobyl has been officially open for tourists after the environmental situation in the area has been improved. The place now is completely safe if tourists strictly follow the instructions of tour guides.

About 10,000 tourists visit the Chernobyl zone every year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Fire Destroys A Third Of Tourist Attractions In Chernobyl
Forbes Excerpt
Apr 15, 2020

After 10 days of forest fires raging near Chernobyl, some 30% of tourist attractions have been destroyed in the exclusion zone.

But fans of extreme tourism should not despair: the iconic control room at the 4th reactor of the nuclear power plant at the center of both the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the eponymous HBO miniseries, the power plant itself and the nearby abandoned town of Pripyat were left unscathed.

“We lost a third of objects in terms of quantity, but they are not the most central to Chernobyl in terms of quality,” says Serhiy Myrnyi, director for research and development at Chernobyl Tour, a specialist tour operator. “But even so, the devastation makes my heart bleed.”

More : Fire Destroys A Third Of Tourist Attractions In Chernobyl
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Former nuclear explosion site Chernobyl seeks UNESCO heritage status
National Post Excerpt
Dec 15, 2020

The Ukrainian government is seeking UNESCO heritage status for the town of Pripyat and the exclusion zone that bore the brunt of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster more than three decades ago.

An influx in the number of tourists to the Chernobyl region is what is pushing the Ukrainian government to seek official recognition, according toScience Alert.The hope from officials is that the status will further increase tourism in the region, which will in turn help to preserve the ageing buildings.

“The Chernobyl zone is already a world famous landmark,” local guide Maksym Polivko told the AFP news service during a tour of the site.

Chernobyl had a record high number of tourists last year, with 124,000 visiting in total; 100,000 of them were tourists from outside of Ukraine. The release of the HBO miniseries, Chernobyl, in 2019, had a significant impact on these figures.

Ukrainian cultural minister Oleksandr Tkachenko views the influx, both from Ukraine and from abroad, as evidence that Chernobyl’s importance applies “not only to Ukrainians, but of all mankind.”

More : Former nuclear explosion site Chernobyl seeks UNESCO heritage status
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
35 years since nuclear disaster, Chernobyl warns, inspires
Apr 25, 2021
Excerpt

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The vast and empty Chernobyl Exclusion Zone around the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident is a baleful monument to human mistakes. Yet 35 years after a power plant reactor exploded, Ukrainians also look to it for inspiration, solace and income.

Reactor No. 4 at the power plant 110 kilometers (65 miles) north of the capital Kyiv exploded and caught fire deep in the night on April 26, 1986, shattering the building and spewing radioactive material high into the sky.

Soviet authorities made the catastrophe even worse by failing to tell the public what had happened — although the nearby plant workers’ town of Pripyat was evacuated the next day, the 2 million residents of Kyiv weren’t informed despite the fallout danger. The world learned of the disaster only after heightened radiation was detected in Sweden.

More : 35 years since nuclear disaster, Chernobyl warns, inspires
 
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