HBO’s top-rated series, Chernobyl, has turned the place into a popular tourist attraction. The site of the world’s worst nuclear accident is set to welcome visitors. By Shubhanjana Das
Enhanced mobile phone reception and walking tours have been included in the decree that the Ukrainian President signed setting out plans for turning Chernobyl tourist-friendly. However, even before the official announcement was made, tourists would still take trips to Chernobyl despite unsafe radiation levels. With the new decree, waterways and checkpoints will be established and restrictions on filming will be lifted. As Chernobyl snags 19 Emmy nominations this year for its five-part miniseries, tour operators in Chernobyl and the neighbouring Pryp’yat’ is expected to double this year to accommodate as many as 150,000 tourists.
However, is it safe to visit one of the most radioactive fields in the world? Well, after the Ukrainian government built New Safe Confinement dome big enough to cover the Notre Dame in Paris to cover the site of the explosion, yes. The dome makes the area safer for tourist visits most of who show interest in the 20-mile ‘exclusion zone’, predicted by scientists after the explosion to not be safe for human habitation till 20,000 years. Well, seems like we got there a bit faster.
What does the tour of Chernobyl include? Apart from completely explained and detailed tour of the Nuclear Plant, the tour also gives you the opportunity to have a bird’s-eye view of the site, thanks to Chernobyl air tour. The ultimate aim of this decree is to revitalise the area and turn it into a national park.
However, before you make plans and look for tickets to Ukraine, let us tell you briefly about the suggested safety precautions during the trip. Long-sleeved pants and closed-toe shoes are a must. And remember to fill yourself up before the tour for consuming food during the trip only means heightened ingestion of radionuclides. And of course, you should never let go of the protective surgical mask. If you are visiting the isolated town of Pryp’yat’ (built initially to house the Chernobyl employees), remember that you are also under threat of the dilapidated buildings at a risk of a collapse at any time.
But hey, exclude yourself from the bunch of tourists taking selfies in the place where thousands of lives were lost to the biggest man-made tragedy on Earth. Your trip to Pryp’yat’ is a remembrance of these lives and stories. Don’t ruin it with selfies.