Nearly 20 years after the world's worst nuclear disaster, the Chernobyl power plant and the poisonous wasteland that surrounds it has become an unlikely tourist destination.
Day-trippers armed with Geiger counters take guided tours from Kiev through military checkpoints to the doorstep of the reactor. Increasing numbers of adventurers are finding their way into the irradiated zone, seeking the eerie thrill of entering family homes unchanged since they were evacuated at a few minutes' notice, two decades ago.
More than 3,000 visitors go to the site every year, and hundreds more explore the abandoned villages in the 20-mile evacuated "dead zone". "
Strange as it may sound, people visit here from all over the world - the United States, Australia, Japan, the UK," said Yulia Marusich, an official guide who leads visitors to a viewing platform overlooking the concrete sarcophagus that encloses the remains of Reactor Four.
As she spoke, standing beside the sarcophagus, a Geiger counter began to tick frantically. It registered 50 times the natural background level of radiation - apparently a "tolerable" level of exposure for a short visit, officials say.
Engineers say that there is a serious risk that the sarcophagus could collapse, exposing hundreds of tons of unstable nuclear debris.
GOI: This gives new meaning to a tourist, "hot spot." This is the kind of vacation that will literally make you sick. If you think diarrhea from visiting an under-developed country is bad try visiting Chernobyl. You don't just get diarrhea but you get bloody diarrhea, watch your hair fallout and get cancer!! Come for the cancer, stay for the death! Yey!!!! Don't forget to take pix so that your family that is left behind after you die can remember your insane selfish person.
---End of Transmission---