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  • Writer's pictureMarc Pulisci

Chernobyl Today and Why You Should Dare Visit

The following is an article “Chernobyl Today and Why You Should Dare Visit” by Marc Pulisci.

HBO’s recent production of its miniseries Chernobyl and the events that took place during that fateful disaster on April 26, 1986, has stirred renewed interest in that locale. Prior to the explosion at Reactor 4 of the nuclear power plant, the Pripyat River basin located at the border between Belarus and Ukraine was rich with forest greenery and wetlands. The aftermath of the fallout saw widespread radiation across the northern hemisphere, resulting in an estimated death toll between 4,000 and 93,000, and the displacement of over 300,000 people from their homes.

Tour to Chernobyl

Years after humans were evacuated from the area, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone was considered by the scientific community as a deserted wasteland, with nothing left but mutated flora and fauna. However, current research shows that plant and animal life are more diverse than ever in Pripyat. Some of those who have recently visited the location via tours have even described its surroundings as a renewed paradise. Could the Chernobyl disaster be proof of what happens after humans are gone from the earth and other species are allowed to flourish?

While some tourists may still be wary about visiting Chernobyl today, there are some trips you can take to tour the sites. Experts say that there are still strong traces of radioactive strontium, iodine, cesium, and plutonium in most of the areas, but you can still check out parts of the Exclusion Zone that offer amazing sights and experiences all starting at $100.

Private tour

One trip offers a one-day private tour that includes transportation, a professional guide, and worry-free processing of fees and permits so you may enter parts of the Exclusion Zone. You get to go to haunting sites near the power plants, and on abandoned grounds within Pripyat and Kopachi ViIlage for that post-apocalyptic atmosphere. Be ready for a radiation control test after the tour as this is mandatory before you head back to your hotel.

Group tour

Explore the sites with your friends via a group tour from Kiev to Chernobyl. You all have to watch a video presentation about the areas prior to touring the town of Pripyat where a guide will take you to see the museum, church, and post-office. These once-abandoned buildings now serve as headquarters for rehabilitation workers and police. The 11-hour tour also includes a visit to Reactor 4 and lessons on radioactive safety.

2-day tour

A two-day tour inside Chernobyl and Pripyat offers a more in-depth look into the disaster-stricken locale. The tour includes meals for the entire trip and an overnight stay at a hotel. Here, you’ll be able to go inside the Chernobyl Power Plant and get a feel of what actually took place during the day of the explosion. The tour also includes transportation via an air-conditioned minibus.

Day trip to Exclusion Zone

One famous tour among visitors is a full-day trip into the significant sites in Pripyat and the nearby Chernobyl Power Plant. Get to see the bridge where the Pripyat families viewed the disaster, not knowing that the distance between them would not keep them from harm’s way. The eerie tour provides a detailed account of how the disaster unfolded, courtesy of well-trained and professional guides. The tour also offers the maximum permitted stay within the Exclusion Zone, a route map, and certificate of visit.

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