How Does a Disastrous Nuclear Accident Spark Interest in Visiting the Site?
Its no surprise that our favorite TV shows and movies may inspire us to visit destinations around the world. But there’s one show inspiring tourists’ wanderlust that isn’t exactly a fantasy location. The site of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine, Chernobyl, is seeing a boost in tourism after watching the HBO miniseries. Tourists are seeking out a day trip with tour companies like Chernobyl Tour, SoloEast, and Chernobyl Welcome.
What are the precautions to visit the site?
The tours to Chernobyl steer very clear of any high contaminated sites so you won’t need a hazmat suit. The best time to visit is in the winter because it will have the clearest views, radiation levels will be shielded by the snow and it will reduce the levels present. However, the radiation is still higher than normal in the area, so there are a lot of precautions you must follow. When you visit the site it’s recommended that you wear long sleeves, pants, and closed-toes shoes. You should wear older clothes that could be thrown away and you should also consider using a fabric respirator to avoid breathing in radioactive dust. Tourists are not allowed to touch anything – no structures, plants, or sit on the ground when you visit. Also, tourists shouldn’t put their belongings on the ground or take anything from the site.
Is Chernobyl really safe to visit?
Although there are many precautions to follow when visiting Chernobyl, it’s safer than you think. According to LiveScience, humans absorb trace amounts of radiation in our every day lives, about 3 millisieverts (mSv) per year. Medical imaging like x-rays and CT scan can range between 1 mSv and 20 mSv. Every Chernobyl tour passes through scanning zones to measure for any exposure. According to Chernobyl Tour, “the total radiation dose obtained during a usual ten-hour trip in the Zone is several times smaller than the one received during a transatlantic flight.”
Urging Instagram tourists to respect nuclear site
The writer of the TV series Chernobyl has asked all visitors to the site of the nuclear disaster to behave with respect, due to a number of photographs emerging on social media showing tourists taking inappropriate or lewd selfies. Tour companies have reported 40% increase in bookings since the airing of the miniseries. Tourists are being criticized for beaming or posing proactively in front of the ruins in photographs. One image that has circulated widely on social media shows a woman unzipping her hazmat suit to reveal a G-string. If you intend to follow in the footsteps of these Nomads, think carefully before you go and make sure you follow the necessary precautions. But most importantly try to behave with respect.