Chernobyl – Ukraine. Accepting tourists in 2011.

Chernobyl, home to the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history 25 years ago, will accept tourists for official guided tours in 2011.

To date, only certain areas of the former power plant have been accessible to curious tourists.  However, in 2011 tourists will be able to tour the 19-mile “Exclusion Zone” for the first time. At the heart of the 19-mile zone is Reactor No. 4, an area that’s been off limits since a sudden power surge caused it to explode back on April 26, 1986. The only people to access this area previously have been scientists and employees.

View of Chernobyl from town of Pripyat

Ukrainian government officials have stated that experts are developing travel routes that will be both medically safe and informative. Despite radiation levels that are still high, the area is now deemed safe enough for humans, and visitors will be escorted on guided tours that keep away from areas which still have high radiation levels.

Chernobyl is a mostly-abandoned city located near the Ukraine town of Pripyat. The disaster that took place there more than 25 years ago is considered the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history.

What do you think of this sort of disaster tourism, 25 years after the fact? Travellers will of course have to determine for themselves if they feel the area is now safe to visit. Something tells me people will have varying opinions about visiting the site.

*Photo courtesy Wikimedia commons
**Source article from Daily Mail (UK)

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