World's worst nuclear accident site to become tourism hotspot

Melbourne, Dec 15 (ANI): Chernobyl, an abandoned city in northern Ukraine where the world's worst nuclear accident happened, could now become a tourism hotspot.

Ukraine's Emergency Situations Ministry have started working on a plan to open the area around the defunct plant where a reactor exploded on April 26, 1986, spreading radiation to then Soviet states of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.ccording to the Australian, the ministry said radiation levels in certain parts of the so-called exclusion zone, which stretches 30km around the exploded reactor, were now returning to normal levels.

They want to open the area by next month, and visitors will be able to take in views of the nuclear plant, as well as towns and villages that were abandoned in the disaster's aftermath.

Yulia Yurshova, a spokeswoman for the Emergency Situations Ministry said official tour operators would have to meet strict criteria to be allowed to operate.

Reason being that straying from the route could prove dangerous because of the threat of collapsing buildings and varying radiation levels.

"The Chernobyl zone isn't as scary as the whole world thinks. We want to work with big tour operators and attract Western tourists, from whom there's great demand," quoted Yurshova as saying.

Yurshova said tours to Chernobyl and the sealed area around the plant, many of which are run illegally, attract about 6000 visitors a year and cost about 150.70 dollars for a day trip.

The plan has received the support of UN Development Program leader Helen Clark.

"There is an opportunity to tell a story here and of course the process of telling a story, even a sad story, is something that is positive in economic terms and positive in conveying very important messages," she stated. (ANI)

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