In early 1986 an event occurred at Державне спецiалiзоване пiдприємство “Чорнобильська АЕС” that would forever change nuclear energy. During a system test, reactor number 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant had a major disaster, the worst of its time and the worst on the International Nuclear Event Scale.
Now 25 years later, life has not returned to Chernobyl. Located in Pripyat, Ukraine, the town is now part of a zone of alienation where no one can inhabit. Only wild animals grace the land, with nothing but abandoned buildings and clean up workers, but this is changing.
Tourists are now allowed into the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster. Think for a moment about radioactivity caused by nuclear disaster. Nuclear radioactivity taints objects that are exposed to it. These tainted objects then interact with other objects and essentially corrupt the atoms holding things together. Consider the recent events with the Japanese nuclear reactors melting down. There are those in the world who stopped trading with them because they thought their food or other objects may be carying that same radioactivity which inevitably leads to cell-mutation more commonly known as cancer.
“The Chernobyl zone is not as scary as the whole world thinks,” said spokeswoman Yulia Yurshova. “We want to work with big tour operators and attract Western tourists, from whom there is great demand.”
Chernobyl as a tourist zone has quite an interesting unfolding of events. They are trying to take something, which in the past has been known as a sad and destructive event, and turning it into something people can make money off. As a tourist you would be paying money to give yourself cancer. This world is strange indeed.
To enter, tourists must sign extensive waivers and are then driven at “breakneck speed.”
“Let’s leave now, it is very dangerous to be here,” Vita Polyakova, a tour guide, told a group including The Sunday Telegraph last week. “There are huge holes in the sarcophagus covering the reactor,” she added, in a tone that suggested she was not joking.
Let’s leave indeed, as we find our bodies breaking down slowly and sickness reaching out to greet us, maybe we should think about where we lead people and their bodies.
Co-writer Dakota Dillon