WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Chernobyl’s control room, which is the scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, is now open to brave tourists who dare to be closer to the scene of the disaster.
- The control room was where the reactor was operated from — and where the staff made many of the decisions the day the reactor exploded.
- The control room is still highly radioactive, though, so visitors are required to wear protective gear and limit their visit to 5 minutes.
The scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster — Chernobyl’s Reactor 4 — is now open to tourists who wish to be closer to the scene of the disaster.
The control room is still highly radioactive, though, so visitors are required to wear protective gear when inside.
Back in June, Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared Chernobyl an official tourist attraction at the inauguration of a giant dome built to contain radioactive material.
Chernobyl has been a tourist destination for far longer, however — it has been nearly a decade since parts of it were opened to the public.
According to a previous Live Science report, the showing of the popular HBO series Chernobyl sparked a 30% increase in bookings to the area back in May.
Back then, Reactor 4 had remained closed off to the public. Only a few researchers and cleanup workers were allowed inside.
The control room was where the reactor was operated from — and where the staff made many of the decisions the day the reactor exploded. The room was highly damaged by the explosion.
The original sarcophagus that contained the radiation of the reactor was not able to cover the said control room. Now, the new containment arch extended to the room’s location, according to a Telegraph report.
But its radiation levels are still 40,000 times higher than normal levels, according to German news agency Ruptly.
Any visitor is required to wear a protective suit, a helmet, and a mask. Each visit is also limited to 5 minutes. Visitors must then undergo two radiology tests after the visit to measure the amount of radiation they were exposed to.
Aside from this, most Chernobyl tours include radiation checkpoints at the start, middle, and end of the one-day tours. Ongoing radiation concerns also prohibit tourists from wandering on their own; they must stick with the tour groups.
CNN reports that there are still off-limits areas in Chernobyl, such as the “machine cemetery” in the Rossokha village, which is the dumpsite for the contaminated machines used for the cleanup.
Ukranian officials have deemed the tourist areas to be safe — as long as they follow the rules. But everyone must be made aware that exposure to large amounts of radiation can lead to tissue damage and acute sickness, as well as increase the risk of cancer.
Source: Live Science