The movie practically writes itself. A former Soviet nuclear plant explodes, and radiation seeps into other countries as officials try to cover up the damage, the total death toll unknown. The radiation is suppressed, the plant and the town around it abandoned, save for tourists who want to see a piece of history.
If it were a major motion picture, an eerie silence and second blast would follow, sending tourists into a Jurassic Park-like nightmare. But the folks giving tours at Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear site say that won’t happen. Probably not, anyway.
The explosion happened almost 25 years ago, but parts of the plant and the model town around it remain intact. Ukraine legalized tours of the disaster site back in January, and has intentions of continuing them as it prepares for the 2012 European football champions, which the country is hosting.
The U.K.’s Sunday Telegraph took a tour recently, the reporter stepping around strewn gas masks and signing a waiver exempting the tour operator from responsibility for any later radiation-related health problems. It’s like a haunted house with very real ghosts.
Feed the Feed: Should disaster sites be used for tourism, and would you go to Chernobyl?