Chernobyl to become an official tourist attraction
Chernobyl, the remains of the world’s most catastrophic nuclear accident, is set to become a world-famous tourist attraction.
Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, signed an agreement to convert the site into a visiting spot on Wednesday 10 July.
The plans involve walking trails and waterways being added, as well as mobile phone reception and filming will now be allowed.
“Chernobyl has been a negative part of Ukraine’s brand,” said President Zelensky at the inauguration ceremony for a new metal dome to encase the destroyed reactor, said the BBC. “The time has come to change this.”
The region surrounding the nuclear plant has developed into a ‘dark tourism’ destination in the last ten years, particularly when a 2019 HBO series about the tragedy was released and distributed on popular streaming sites such as Netflix.
A reactor at the power plant exploded in 1986, hospitalising 138 people, of whom 28 died from radiation sickness. The leak also contaminated approximately 50,000 acres after the explosion sent 2km of radioactive material into the atmosphere.
An 18-mile spanning region, known as the exclusion zone, was defined and over 100,000 civilians were evacuated from the area.
Tours are already offered to the town of Pripyat’s abandoned streets and eerie ferris wheel, with guides accompanying tourists to ensure radiation levels aren’t too high.
“We will create a green corridor for tourists,” said President Zelensky. “Chernobyl is a unique place on the planet where nature was reborn after a huge man-made disaster.”
He added: ”We have to show this place to the world: to scientists, ecologists, historians and tourists.“
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