signed a decree on the opening of the Chernobyl exclusion zone for tourists. According to the President of Ukraine, Chernobyl was associated with negativity, but after HBO series the country wants to turn" the problem into an advantage ". With the help of stalkers, employees of the ChEZ and just enthusiasts, we answer the most popular questions about local tourism." /> signed a decree on the opening of the Chernobyl exclusion zone for tourists. According to the President of Ukraine, Chernobyl was associated with negativity, but after HBO series the country wants to turn" the problem into an advantage ". With the help of stalkers, employees of the ChEZ and just enthusiasts, we answer the most popular questions about local tourism."> signed a decree on the opening of the Chernobyl exclusion zone for tourists. According to the President of Ukraine, Chernobyl was associated with negativity, but after HBO series the country wants to turn" the problem into an advantage ". With the help of stalkers, employees of the ChEZ and just enthusiasts, we answer the most popular questions about local tourism.">

Extreme tourism: a walk in Chernobyl and Fukushima

Pripyat extreme tourism

Pripyat from a bird's eye view

The mysterious and unknown has always attracted the human essence. Especially - if it came to mysticism or not yet revealed secrets. Today, the most exciting and alluring travel for a tourist is a trip to the exclusion zone, to a city that has long since plunged into a deep sleep and still dwells in it.

Steps covered with radioactive moss

How can I get to Pripyat?

Hike to Pripyat today is more than an affordable event. Both a Ukrainian and a guest from a neighboring state can get here. However, there are still some limitations.

Today there are several ways to go to the Chernobyl zone. First, you can book an extreme tour for one or more days. Such a hike will allow you to see many sights, which, as before, continue to be in their former places.

There is another way, but today it is considered illegal. A detachment for a trip to Pripyat is increasingly being assembled by so-called stalkers - people living in the history of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant zone. These people know the territory very well and there are many interesting places in Pripyat that no legal excursion will tell you about.

Pripyat shortly before the disaster

Memories of a stalker

The illegal trip to Pripyat is organized year after year by an experienced stalker Alexander Sirota. For this person, the city is not only an example of a catastrophic mistake, but also a home.

Greetings, dear readers! Today in our article we will recall one of the most terrible tragedies of the 20th century - the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. You will learn the history of the nuclear power plant, the causes and consequences of the explosion. We will also tell you about the current situation in the Chernobyl exclusion zone and how extreme a walk through Chernobyl can be.

The history of the ChNPP

The Soviet Union began to actively develop nuclear power in the early 70s of the last century. Nuclear power plants were built throughout the country. One of the most ambitious projects of that time was the construction of a nuclear power plant 100 kilometers from Kiev near the town of Chernobyl. The station was commissioned in 1977, creating thousands of jobs. People from all over the union came to work there, having founded the city of Pripyat not far from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

The city, whose population was growing and reached 48 thousand people by 1985, was considered futuristic and very developed in those days, unlike other cities of the USSR. Pripyat received the award for the best architecture. There were many parks and squares, sports facilities, cultural places where Soviet people could spend their leisure time. The city seemed to have everything for a good life, but this idyll soon ended ...

The explosion and its consequences for humanity

On April 26, 1986, an atomic reactor exploded at the 4th power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. This happened as a result of an experiment to increase the power of the reactor. After the explosion, a fire started. The reactor itself and the power unit building were destroyed. Firefighters arrived at the scene and stopped the further spread of the fire.

The radiation level began to be measured only a few hours after the explosion. Radiation monitoring devices and various dosimeters were off scale or simply out of order. Only then did people realize that something terrible had happened. However, everyone found out about the accident only after long 36 hours! Then the evacuation of people from Pripyat began.

In total, in the following days, people were evacuated within a 30-kilometer radius near Chernobyl. People were told that it was not dangerous and that they would be able to return home after three days. While the foreign media reported about the threat to human life, and showed on TV a map of the spread of radiation fluxes and clouds, and in the Soviet Union there were festivities and demonstrations dedicated to May Day.

Between July and November 1986, a concrete sarcophagus was created. More than 10 thousand people worked on its creation. And the total number of liquidators of the consequences of the accident exceeded half a million people. Most of these people received high doses of radiation, which negatively affected their health.

An area of ​​over 200 thousand sq. km was hit by radiation (Ukraine, Belarus and Russia). About 8 million people in these republics were exposed to radiation. Most of Europe was covered by a radioactive cloud. Precipitation reached the Leningrad Region, Mordovia and Chuvashia. Subsequently, pollution was noted in the northern regions of the USSR, Sweden, Norway, Finland and even Great Britain.

Chernobyl now

Why people are drawn to the site of the Chernobyl tragedy

Adam Boyanovsky: For me personally, Chernobyl is the Mecca of Urbex The style of photography in which shooting is carried out in abandoned buildings. ... I have always been interested in abandoned buildings and dreamed of getting there. As soon as I collected the money, I immediately went on a two-day excursion. This was in 2013. Since then I have tried to come at least two or three times a year. The zone is the place of a great tragedy, but if it were not for the radiation, I would have visited it more often. I love places where there are no people.

Denis Vishnevsky: In cities, we have a lot of social contacts every day. Communication is part of our nature, but here you are faced with the experience of the absence of people, walking in the evenings along quiet, quiet streets. In the ChEZ, it strikes at some memories from childhood, reflection begins - but if you don't come for one day, but stay longer.

I know a lot of ideological stalkers who come here illegally. They, like the heroes of Tarkovsky's film, feel that thoughts and time are beginning to move here in a different way. It is as if something is being reconfigured in the brain - a date with the zone affects.

Stas Polessky: The first time I went to the zone with an official excursion was in 2007. There was very little time and places we visited, but I really liked it, so I decided to come back here on my own. I think that I have already made about a hundred stalker sorties in the ChEZ. From 2010 to 2017, I went to the zone about 10-12 times a year. For the last three years I have been out with my wife. We want to get married in the working church of Chernobyl. It is impossible to explain in words why I am so drawn here. The zone fascinates people with a certain personality type. Usually few people share the zeal of stalkers.

Petr Filon: As a rule, several types of tourists go to the Belarusian zone: some want to see the unique nature that lives absolutely without human intervention; others like abandonment, large numbers on dosimeters or computer games; still others strive to feel the spirit of a bygone era, to see the place where time has stood still.

What has changed in the ChEZ since the release of the HBO series

Peter Filon: The first excursion group entered the Belarusian exclusion zone on November 24, 2018. After the release of the series, the flow of tourists increased, but not as much as in Ukraine. Our zone is not yet so well known, although Belarus has suffered the most from modern countries.

Anton Yukhimenko: There is a huge number of tour operators who are sure that you can just come here, attract an official guide of the zone, walk with him and make money. On the one hand, it is, but this is the wrong approach, since Chernobyl tourism is very specific. You need to be able to show that this place is not dead and not as dangerous as it was 33 years ago.

June was usually considered a non-seasonal month for us, but now traffic has grown a lot, and not only among Ukrainians - the series has attracted a foreign audience. Previously, weekend groups gathered 40 people each, now - 150 people each. The infrastructure will not withstand such a flow if the state does not take certain measures.

Let's start the analysis of the project with the name. It sounds strange and new. Anyone who has ever been interested in the issue of restoring Chernobyl and returning the territory of the exclusion zone to economic use is sure to come across the terms "rehabilitation", "reclamation", "re-evacuation" (the latter is used when it comes to re-settlement of the exclusion zone). The authors of the project for the development of the territory of the exclusion zone called their project “Revitalization of the Chernobyl zone. Development of tourist infrastructure facilities ".

Railway in the exclusion zone in the future

The term revitalization is used in construction, more in restoration, and ... medicine. In my opinion, oddly enough, the construction and medical meaning of the word "Revitalization" surprisingly accurately captures the essence of the work associated with the rehabilitation of radioactively contaminated areas. Judge for yourself. For builders, restorers, this means a comprehensive planning of the future object, starting with the materials from which the building will be created or restored and ending with the determination of the functional purpose of each element of the object under construction. At the same time, revitalization can concern not only buildings, but also entire architectural complexes. The medical essence of the term "revitalization" means the rejuvenation of old body tissues with the help of new cells. This is a young direction in medicine, which implies the use of stem cells to obtain, for example, new skin tissue, and in a broader sense, it is the rejuvenation of the body. In a sense, to use allegories, the administration, objectives and purpose of the exclusion zone require a radical change. A revision of the existing goals, which were developed to overcome the consequences of the accident in the acute phase of development, is required. After 25 years after the accident, the mode of operation and the way of managing the contaminated territories is no longer able to effectively solve modern management problems. The modern exclusion zone is no longer only radiation-hazardous territories - it is a valuable natural complex and an almost protected regime, with the natural biodiversity restored over the years of isolation, as well as the world-famous tourist site, which has confirmed its attractiveness by mass visits. In recent years, tens of thousands of tourists have visited Chernobyl and the exclusion zone. Today it is not a secret for anyone that the cities of Chernobyl, Pripyat, like the exclusion zone itself as a whole, are a whole open-air museum complex, which has a huge tourist, scientific and educational potential. It is noteworthy that the developers of the revitalization project very correctly and clearly grasped the scientific and tourist value of the Chernobyl zone. And they put these advantages of the exclusion zone into the basis of their project. The proposed revitalization project of the zone is the most general concept of the hypothetical development and arrangement of the territory of the exclusion zone. There is no detailed study of elements in it, it only reflects the general idea of ​​the developers, who are very superficially familiar with the features of the Chernobyl zone.

Science, tourism, recreation, entertainment - the main directions of development

The main idea behind zaarchitects. om was in an attempt to socialize the territory of the Chernobyl zone - in the creation of infrastructure throughout the exclusion zone, which would take into account the main types of human activities. The designers suggested that the main activities in the exclusion zone will be scientific research and tourism, which will lead to an inflow of investments. Attention is focused on the development of tourism, around which all activities in the exclusion zone are formed. This approach has its own logic - when creating safe conditions for people to stay in the exclusion zone and the city of Chernobyl, control over the state of the radiation situation, control and prevention of the negative impact of objects in the exclusion zone on adjacent territories, etc. will be improved. Since this will require guaranteeing safe conditions for the stay of tourists. The development of tourism in the project is expected in such areas - ecotourism, extreme tourism, industrial, gaming and photo safari. True, a photo safari is, in fact, an integral part of ecotourism. The diagram below illustrates the possible directions for the development of the exclusion zone.

Scheme of directions for the development of the exclusion zone

As you can see, the developers assume that the development of tourism, science, infrastructure, ecology, industry will be accompanied by general economic development. Unfortunately, the developers did not take into account that for a long time there will be operating enterprises for the management of radioactive waste, spent nuclear fuel and the nuclear power plant itself in the exclusion zone. These objects should have been taken into account in the future infrastructure of the Chernobyl zone.

Main segments of the new Chernobyl infrastructure

The infrastructure backbone of the exclusion zone is formed with the help of four main objects (stations), between which a new transport artery (monorail track) has been laid. The figure shows the main idea for the placement of stations on the territory of the Chernobyl zone.

Map of the tourist infrastructure of the exclusion zone (large file size)

The first station (named Casino), designed to receive tourists and zone personnel, is organized on the southeastern border of the exclusion zone. Station "Casino" is located near the confluence of the Pripyat River into the Kiev reservoir, which allows the use of both water and transport.

Types of tourism and types of transport

Dead ghost town of Pripyat

Pripyat is a city in the Kiev region, abandoned by residents in April 1986 after the world's largest nuclear accident - the explosion of a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP). The ghost town is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as a monument to the worst man-made disaster in the history of mankind.

About the city and the accident

Pripyat is located 94 km from Kiev and two kilometers from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The city got its name from the river of the same name, on the banks of which it stands.

The settlement of Pripyat was founded in 1970 for the residence of people engaged in the construction and further maintenance of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The power plants were named "Chernobyl" after the name of the regional center. Chernobyl itself, located 18 kilometers from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, has no direct relation to it.

On April 26, 1986, at half past one in the morning, an explosion occurred at the fourth power unit of the nuclear power plant. A huge radioactive cloud covered Pripyat. The population of the city was not immediately notified of the incident. The coming Saturday was sunny, people rejoiced in the good weather, worked in their summer cottages. Children had fun on the rides that were launched ahead of schedule that day to create a deceptively calm environment.

Catastrophically a lot of time was lost, the inhabitants of the city received the strongest radiation, which eventually led to serious illness and death. During the Soviet era, man-made accidents were hushed up so as not to destroy people's faith in the reliability of everything Soviet and not to sow panic.

And only more than a day later, on April 27 at 11 a.m., the residents of Pripyat were informed of an immediate evacuation. 3 trains and 1200 buses arrived in Pripyat to transport people. The townspeople were allowed to take with them only documents, the most necessary clothes and a small supply of food. Residents were assured that the evacuation was temporary, and after the situation returned to normal, they would be able to return home. No one could have imagined that they would never see their home or their hometown again.

During just three hours, from 14.0 to 17.0, 49614 people were evacuated from Pripyat. People were placed in places of temporary residence, and then moved to the city of Slavutich, built shortly after the accident, 50 km from Pripyat.

In early May, the evacuation from the 30-kilometer zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant began. More than 60,000 head of agricultural livestock were also removed from the affected area. In total, about 165,000 people left the zone contaminated with radiation in 5 years.

During the time that passed after the accident, Pripyat was robbed by numerous looters, who took out everything of any value from here.

Empty streets of a ghost town

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