On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe interest in the exclusion zone is increasing. According to the head of the State Agency for Exclusion Zone management Vitaly Petruk, last year it was visited by over 15 thousand visitors.
How it was opened
The first organized trip in the exclusion zone started to take place back in the 90s. In 1995, it was created by the agency, the International Cooperation and Development "Chernobylinterinform" - a state enterprise, one of whose objectives was also the organization of trips to the Chernobyl exclusion zone. In 2002 the United Nations released a report saying that in most places the Chernobyl zone can visited be without any harm to the body, but a visit is associated with health risks, so the visitor is solely responsible for instructing on radiation safety. In 2009, Forbes magazine named Chernobyl most exotic place for tourism.
Minister for Emergency Situations Viktor Baloga in 2010-2012, encouraged the development of tourism in the exclusion zone. "I am very positive for tourism. I believe that everything that is beneficial for worldview should be developed," said Baloga in November 2010.
Ministry of Emergency Situations of Ukraine in February 2011 approved the procedure for visits to the exclusion zone by citizens of Ukraine, foreign delegations, foreigners and compulsory resettlers through tour operators. Prosecutor General's Office protested the order, and because of litigation with the June 23, 2011, tours in the exclusion zone banned. One of the reasons for the closure of excursions was that the proceeds from the tourist money is not spent on the provision of assistance to the affected area.
Kyiv District Administrative Court declared unlawful the order of Ministry of Emergency Situations, after which the agency has developed a new procedure for visiting the exclusion zone based on the comments, and registered it in Ministry of Justice.
2 December 2011, Chernobyl area reopened for study visits. Today guided tours are very popular. Organizers assured that during one day in Chernobyl you can get a dose of radiation exposure of about a 1-hour flight in an airplane, which is 160 times less than the dose received in a single chest X-rays.
Prices for a one-day group tour to the exclusion zone for the Ukrainians and Belorussians range from 700 to 2400 UAH. The three-day cost in 5411 hryvnia, two-day - about 2200 UAH.
Citizens of other countries might go to Chernobyl for 70-100 euros for 1 day 100-300 euros - three.
You can order an individual tour and, at a convenient time. It will cost $ 430 per person, the larger group is, the cheaper is the price.
Tourists can rent a dosimeter for $ 10, have lunch in the dining room, the products to which are delivered from Kyiv.
Income from visits to go to the state enterprise Center of organizational, technical, and information support of the exclusion zone management. According to head of the State Agency for Management of Exclusion Zone, the gathered funds are used for infrastructure development.
Rules of visit
According to the laws of Ukraine, to visit the Chernobyl exclusion zone can only 18 years old individuals. You need to take a passport to pass through security checkpoints. Clothing should be closed: pants, shirt or jacket with long sleeves, closed shoes, preferably with thick soles. Tourists in shorts, skirts and sandals are not allowed in the area. Also, there is a strict ban on alcohol.
Visitors are shown deactivated Red Forest on the western site of radioactive trace of the first explosion of the 4th power unit and the observation deck of the fourth reactor, as well as a secret facility "Duga 1" - radar, which is built to track the launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Also, tourists walk on foot along the Prypyat river, inspecting the building, the nototrious amusement park and ferris wheel.
In March, the exclusion zone was visited by about 2 thousand Ukrainians and citizens of foreign countries. Most often it was visited by representatives of France, Japan, Germany, Finland, and Belarus.