Nuclear Tourism: Chernobyl Becoming Hotspot For Brave Visitors

Travel News — By Carlo Alcos on October 7, 2010 at 10:00 am

How much would you pay for the possibility of radiation exposure? If it’s £100, then you’re in luck– you can afford a day trip to visit Chernobyl, site of the devastating nuclear reactor meltdown in 1986. As reported by the Daily Mail, 7500 visitors made the trek in 2009, and it has been listed as one of the world’s unique places to visit by Forbes magazine. Visitors must sign a form agreeing to anti-contamination policies, then are shipped to the site that has radiation levels up to 37 times higher than normal.

After visiting the “zone”, tourists are taken to Pripyat — 2 miles from the power station — where staff who worked at the nuclear plant were housed. Around 50,000 residents were evacuated the day after the explosion, and to this day the town is abandoned. One tour’s itinerary can be found here.

The Velvet Rocket posted an article last year detailing a visit to Chernobyl. Of the risks of radiation contamination:

Our guide assures me that we are safe. “Maybe two or three visitors become contaminated every year,” he says. “They are always the ones who are most afraid.” He has a theory about radiation, you see. He thinks it’s like children or animals — only attracted to you if it knows you’re scared.

It also tells of catfish in the nearby river — which they stopped to feed bread — that are larger and heavier than adult humans. A result of eating lots of carbs or the effects of radiation, it doesn’t say.

[Image: Tim Suess / Flickr]

Tags: chernobyl, nuclear, tourism

    1 Comment

  • Orest Stelmach says:

    Great website. It’s not the residual radiation in Chernobyl that concerns me as much as the graveyards of stripped yet still hot tractors, ambulances, cars and sundry vehicles. When given a choice of an old or new taxi at Borispol Airport in Kiev . . .

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