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Is It Safe To Visit Chernobyl? Here’s What to Know

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Is-Safe-To-Visit-ChernobylComputer games, animation, and HBO series are the factors causing the new ways of interest to Chernobyl, the mysterious city in modern Ukraine, that witnessed one of the most terrifying man-made disasters in the whole history of the human being. Since 1986 when the explosion of the 4th reactor in the Chernobyl Power Plant changed the further development of nuclear energy, there were different periods of post-disaster history, when Chernobyl was forbidden to visit by tourists. Nowadays, after three decades, there are thousands of tourists annually, choosing to explore Chernobyl and nearby locations. So, one of the main questions on different forums is whether it is safe to visit this place or not. If to consider the radiation rate in the city of Chernobyl, it doesn’t exceed those of the modern metropolises. The amount of radiation, a person faces during the visit to Chernobyl, can be compared to one of the long-distance flights. All the main objects have been open for Chernobyl guided tours since 2010 when they were proved to be safe for human health. Before 2010 when Chernobyl Exclusion Zone was impossible to visit. Still, there were some illegal groups of the extreme fans, who would invade the territory of the Chernobyl complex, trying to get the answers for all the myths and theories about this mysterious place. After the appearance of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R game, they are all called stalkers. Professional guides say that even if you don’t know why to visit Chernobyl, you should do it just to dispel the myths which have nothing to do with reality. Let’s mention a couple of them.

  • Chernobyl is totally abandoned and is just a ruin

Chernobyl complex consists of many locations, which are in the city of Chernobyl, connected to the Chernobyl Power Plant, or lay in the nearby towns and cities. Chernobyl city, despite the widespread information, is not an empty place, where nobody lives. Due to the projects of construction and maintenance of the main objects of the power plant, many technicians and engineers live nearby, and you can see some people in the streets, go to the shop to buy fresh bread and snacks. In reality, it looks like an ordinary Ukrainian rural settlement. Of course, near the city of Chernobyl, there are a lot of abandoned villages, but still, not all of them are completely uninhabited. After the disaster, when many places were considered extremely dangerous to stay, and people were evacuated, many locals preferred to stay on their land despite the danger and indefinite future. That’s why tourists can meet some old people, living approximately alone and having developed quite a unique household in the given conditions. Of course, the city of Pripyat, one of the main touristic locations is a kind of phantom with no habitats and the empty dark windows without glass, the symbol of how fragile and short-sighted a human can be in his decisions.

  • Mutations

In comparison to those of the early 2000s, there are fewer ridiculous articles about the animal mutants and some terrible effects of the radiation on nature and its representatives. There are some cases when a calf is born with two heads, but they occur not in Chernobyl, but on the other continents and places which never witnessed extreme radiation. As for the nature of the Chernobyl touristic complex, it’s one of the phenomena that impress tourists from all over the world. Abandoned parks and nearby forests are full of healthy and free wild animals, that have gained complete control of the areas and live in total peace with the surrounding environment. Strong bison and elks, beautiful foxes and wolves, funny raccoon dogs, gracious trots, and cute hazel dormice are just a few representatives of the long list of animals that inhabit the Exclusion Zone. So, the Chernobyl tour is attractive not only for the fans of postapocalyptic scenery but also for people who are fond of nature. Besides, it’s necessary to take a look at the geographical position of Chernobyl. It’s situated 100 km from Kyiv, which is one of the cleanest capitals in East Europe in the means of air and radiation quality. So, if Chernobyl was that dangerous as many myths say, it would affect other locations for more than 500 km long.

  • Nothing has remained after 30 years

It’s a common myth that there’s nothing to watch in Chernobyl. Everything either ruined and faded or was stolen by illegal tourists, visiting these places at the beginning of the 1990s. In reality, the interior of many abandoned buildings has remained the same, though having been affected by the water conditions during these three decades since the disaster. You can see old toys once left by their owners in a hurry to leave their homes forever. The building of the hospital in Pripyat, which is considered to be a place for a limited time of stay, still reminds about the hard effort of the rescuers who took part in the localization of the catastrophe. Their clothes, which still contain huge dozes of radiation, have been buried in one of the hospital’s departments, and are forbidden to be touched or even visited. Besides, it’s forbidden to take objects from the Zone with you, as they main contain some even small dozes of radiation, so nothing has been stolen, and you can see the houses in approximately the same condition as they were left in 1986.

  • It’s boring to visit Chernobyl

Many people have limited information, mostly stereotypical, about the Chernobyl complex, that’s why might consider it too boring to visit, but let’s take a look at only the main locations which can blow your mind:

  • Exclusion Zone
  • Duga radar (carrying the nickname of Russian woodpecker)
  • Red forest
  • Pripyat amusement park and pool
  • Chernobyl Power plant (under permission)
  • The Bridge of Death
  • Chernobyl Elephant’s foot
  • Abandoned Pripyat Cargo port

There are still many locations and sightseeing worth visiting in Chernobyl. Since 2018 the complex has become one of the most interesting touristic attractions in Ukraine. So, you need to visit it at least to prove you are in trend.

Chris Evans Author

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