Never miss our content! Subscribe to our blog for free to receive all our latest posts, directly to your inbox. Enter your email at the bottom of the page.
So what did actually happen?
On the night of April 25th1986 the world witnessed one of the most catastrophic man-made disasters to ever take place on this planet. That being the explosions at Chernobyl’s nuclear power plant, which sent radioactive material into the air to spreading far into western Europe. To get a sense of scale, it is estimated that the amount of radioactive material sent into the air was 400 times greater than that of the atom bomb, landed on Hiroshima, Japan. Although one could only assume that such an enormous atrocity would be the result of accidental failure, but the cause of the problem has been attributed to inexperienced workers disabling safety features to test a reactor turbine – therefore leading one to believe, the explosions were most certainly avoidable.
The aftermath of the explosions saw 134 service men hospitalised, with 28 of those dying a long, slow and painful death due to high levels of radiation sickness. As well as these fatalities, a 18 mile radius exclusion zone was established along with the evacuation of 100,000 people to ensure the death toll did not rise further.
Fast-forward to present day and Chernobyl is still unhabitable with accurate estimations predicting only in 20,000 years will human life be able to return to safely live. But despite this, since 2011 the area has been opened to tourists with day trips to the small town being popular amongst those with an interest in the disaster. Undoubtably, the recent HBO production of the disaster has inflated the amount of interest in traveling to the area, but still the number of people making it to the site remain very low as safety concerns remain very high.
Traveling to the site
In order to travel to the site you must be on an official tour and be accompanied by an expert guide at all times. Not only is this the case but you are restricted to a dress code that does not show any skin, you are not allowed to touch anything and you’re even restricted from placing any personal belongings on the floor. In addition to these things you are provided with a device, which you must carry at all times, that measures the level of radiation you are exposed to – making sure it does not reach dangerously high levels.
The site is around a 2 hour drive from Kiev meaning most tours will start there. On route to the site you will be played informative documentaries regarding the disaster and its current state. Once you’re there, due to the non-human interference for over 30 years, wildlife has thrived with plants growing through buildings creating a very unique scene. One of the most notable things to see in Chernobyl is the fairground that was due to open just days after the disaster. Therefore lying unused is a very spookily looking retro fairground which has been engulfed by nature.
Finding a suitable tour is relatively simple with the small amount available. As always TripAdvisor is home to tours with up to date reviews from travellers therefore this would be an ideal place to start in search of the correct tour for you. Prices are typically around £100, which include transport from Kiev.
If you’ve been inspired by this post or have been lucky enough to visit yourself we’d love to hear from you! Have your say in the comments.