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Catastrophe frozen in time: Chernobyl opens its doors to disaster tourism

April 12, 13:49 UTC+3 KIEV

After the tour of the nuclear plant, visitors will be tested for radiation and get a certificate for the radiation dose they were exposed to

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© EPA/ANDREW KRAVCHENKO

KIEV, April 12. /TASS/. The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), which suffered the worst disaster in the history of the nuclear power industry in 1986, has opened for tourists. According to the NPP’s press service, apart from the industrial area where most facilities are located, including the Shelter Object covering the disaster-hit fourth reactor, tourists will also be able to take a tour of the previously inaccessible interior premises, particularly the third reactor’s control room.

Applications can be filed through the official website of the Chernobyl NPP. A basic package tour costing 2,700 hryvnias (around $100), includes a brief instruction, a guide’s services, a meal at the nuclear plant’s canteen and personal protective equipment. According to the guidelines, tourists must be 18 or over to qualify to visit the facility.

After the tour of the nuclear plant, visitors will be tested for radiation and get a certificate for the radiation dose they were exposed to.

The nuclear plant’s management does not rule out that the area open for tourists may be expanded in the future, in addition the duration of tours may increase to two or three days.

Chernobyl disaster

The disaster at the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant occurred in the small hours of April 26, 1986. More than 200,000 square kilometers of land, first and foremost, in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, became contaminated.

Around 115,000 people were evacuated from the 30-kilometer-wide affected zone.

The subsequent clean-up operation involved more than 600,000 people, about ten percent of whom died, and 165,000 became disabled.

Thanks to the dedicated work of the disaster’s responders coming from all over the Soviet Union, a concrete structure covering the nuclear reactor No. 4 was installed - known as the Shelter Object - in November 1986.

In November 2016, an international consortium installed a new arch-shaped confinement.

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