Chernobyl's 'Exclusion Zone' to open to tourists in 2011
It's almost 25 years since the Chernobyl catastrophe and inquisitive tourists to the nuclear power plant have always been kept on a tight reign, with only certain areas of the former power plant accessible.
The 19-mile 'Exclusion Zone' will open up for official guided tours in 2011
However from 2011, those journeying to the plant, near the Ukraine town of Pripyat, will be able to venture into the 'Exclusion Zone' for the first time.
At the centre of the 19-mile zone is Reactor No. 4, which has been kept off limits since the sudden power surge caused it to explode on April 26, 1986 with terrifying consequences.
Previously, only Chernobyl employees and scientists have been allowed into the area but next year will see curious visitors able to look at the reactor's burned-out core.
Ukrainian government official Yulia Yershova said: 'Experts are developing travel routes that will be both medically safe and informative.'
Although radiation levels in the zone are still high, flourishing wildlife means that the area is now deemed safe enough for humans.
Visitors will be escorted by guides and kept away from areas which still have high radiation levels.
The Chernobyl disaster is considered the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history. When Reactor No.4 exploded, a plume of radioactive fallout was emitted into the atmosphere and drifted across much of Europe and the then western Soviet Union. More than 350,000 people were evacuated in the aftermath of the accident.
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