Chernobyl Opening to Tourists

Guided tours to be offered inside restricted zone
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2010 1:20 AM CST
The abandoned town of Pripyat stretches out into the distance near Chernobyl, Ukraine.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Get your red hots! Ukraine plans to start welcoming tourists to the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster next year. Officials will open up the sealed zone which extends for a 30-mile radius around the Chernobyl plant, and guides will offer tours which would avoid contaminated areas while taking in the main sights, including the abandoned town of Pripyat.

"There are things to see there if one follows the official route and doesn't stray away from the group," an official tells AP. "Though it is a very sad story." A few companies already offer tours inside the restricted zone, but the government says these are illegal and don't guarantee the safety of tourists. A UN official who has toured Chernobyl says she supports the plan because it could help teach an important lesson on nuclear safety.

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