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Chernobyl Disaster Zone Opens for Tourism

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Published on Apr 27, 2012

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26-years after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster tourists are invited to visit the area.
A 30-kilometer zone around the reactor has been opened to visitors and interest is growing.

While the world is deliberating on whether or not nuclear power should continue to exist there is rising interest in the Chernobyl exclusion zone in Ukraine.

The catastrophic Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster took place on 26-April 1986 in the city of Pripyat.

Interest in the exclusion zone attracted at least 9000-people last year from 80 countries worldwide.

Dmitry Bobro, Deputy Chairman for the Management Exclusion Zone.

[Dmitry Bobro,First Deputy Chairman of State Agency of Ukraine for the Management Exclusion Zone]:
"I believe these trips serve a very important purpose in raising public awareness. Visitors to the area can observe at first hand not only the threat posed by nuclear facilities but also they can learn how to deal with the consequences of the most serious of nuclear disasters"

The Ministry of Emergencies has developed special safe routes which include a visit to the abandoned City of Pripyat 3-kilometers from the station.

A trip to the Chernobyl exclusion zone will cost around 100-dollars and visitors must submit their application at least 10-days before their proposed visit.

They are fully briefed on safety requirements and providing the rules are followed all such trips are safe.

The Chairman of the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine, Yaroslav Moychan discussed the potential risks.

[Yaroslav Movchan, chairman of the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine]:
"If people stay on the pavement - and there is no wind -- it's a risk but no more than on the streets of Kiev. If they decide to explore the area then of course it is much more dangerous."

The Chernobyl disaster is widely considered to be the worst Nuclear Power Plant accident in the history of nuclear energy.

Environmentalists believe that the Chernobyl tragedy is the main reason for the high numbers of cancer sufferers in Ukraine.

The country has about 1 million cancer patients.

NTD News, Kiev, Ukraine

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