Chernobyl Opens for Post-Apocalyptic Tourism

"Already been to North Korea? Hiking in Afghanistan a little bit too last year? Fear not. Tourism has a new frontier: the site of the world's biggest civilian nuclear disaster.

From next year the heavily contaminated area around the Chernobyl power plant will be officially open to tourists with an interest in post-apocalyptic vistas, late-period Soviet history, or both.

Ukraine's emergency situations ministry said today that visitors would be offered tours inside the 30-mile exclusion zone set up after reactor four at the plant exploded on 26 April 1986, showering northern Europe in radioactive fallout.

The disaster killed an unknown number of people – estimates for deaths from radiation exposure range from dozens to thousands – and forced around 350,000 people to leave their homes forever."

Peter Walker reports for the UK Guardian December 13, 2010.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010