In just over a month, it will have been 35 years since the explosion at the Chernobyl power plant changed the course of history in the region and throughout the world. Believe it or not, Chrernobyl has become quite the tourist destination. From historical interest to cultural curiosity, people from all walks of life come to see what has become of Chernobyl. So, if you’re looking for a trip that’s about as unconventional as you can get, here are three reasons why you should visit Chernobyl.
A City Lost to Time
After the Chyernobyl disaster, the then-Soviet government erected a 1,004-square-mile exclusion zone that’s still in effect today. Because of this, the area inside the exclusion zone is a time capsule showcasing a bygone Soviet era. Through Chernobyl Tour, you’ll be safely guided through areas of the exclusion zone, including the town of Pripyat, where the power plant workers and their families lived. The area looks less like a ghost town and more like a decaying time capsule. Homes are fully furnished, tables are set for meals, and fading signs of Soviet propaganda are scattered throughout.
One of the few positives that has come from the Chernobyl disaster is the resilience of Mother Nature. Although the area is still radiated to the point that prolonged stays and civilian stays are prohibited, wildlife has managed to thrive in our absence. Bears, wolves, lynx, and other animals now dominate the region. Today, a tour of Chernobyl now includes a trip to an unintended wildlife preserve.
A Modern Marvel
After the power plant exploded, the Soviet Union quickly erected a concrete sarcophagus around the building that was supposed to last 30 years. It started failing after 20. Through a coalition of several countries and at a cost of 1.5 billion euros (the equivalent of about $1.8 billion American dollars), the New Safe Confinement structure was built. Weighing in at a staggering 35,000 tons, this miracle of human engineering was constructed 300 meters away from the reactor to limit exposure and then ROLLED over the prior structure. Taller than the statue of liberty and bigger than Yankee Stadium, the new structure is designed to protect the world while robots deconstruct the old structure and dismantle the nuclear power plant inside. The New Safe Containment is estimated to last 100 years.
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