Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chernobyl Site Will Open to Tours

From BOSTON By Maria Danilova

Beginning next year, Ukraine plans to open up the sealed zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant to visitors who wish to learn more about the disaster that occurred nearly 25 years ago, the Emergency Situations Ministry said yesterday.

Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4 exploded on April 26, 1986, spewing radiation over a large swath of northern Europe, in the world’s worst nuclear accident.

Hundreds of thousands of people were resettled from areas contaminated with radiation fallout in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Related health problems still persist.

The so-called exclusion zone, a highly contaminated area within a 30-mile radius of the exploded reactor, was evacuated and sealed off in the aftermath of the explosion. All visits were prohibited.

Yulia Yershova, Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman, said experts are developing travel routes that will be both medically safe and informative for Ukrainians as well as foreign visitors.


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