We have collected and published for you the most common questions of interest to those wishing to visit the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone..
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The tour begins with a gathering of the group in the morning in Kiev. The documents are checked, the group gets acquainted with its attendant, who conducts mandatory instruction on safety and behavior in the Exclusion Zone and is not just a guide, but also responsible for the safety of the group.
At about 10 am we arrive at the Dityatky checkpoint, where visitors sign that they have received instructions from their attendant, check their documents and receive an individual dosimetric control device. This is such a small device the size of a flash drive, which shows what dose of radiation was absorbed by the human body during the tour. Disassemble them to find out what's inside is a bad idea because they are very expensive.
After crossing the first checkpoint, the main part of the tour begins. Since the Zone itself is quite large, we walk only to the route locations in which the group is interested. By the way, there are 13 land routes in the Chornobyl zone. The standard route is to visit the city of Chernobyl, which today is home to about 3,000 shift workers. We drive to the former secret military base Chornobyl-2, where the same radar "Arc" is located, drive to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and walk around the ghost town of Pripyat. You can visit villages such as Cherevach, Zalissia, Chervone, Poliske, Opachychi, Kupuvatoe and many others included in the routes. The last two are inhabited by self-settlers who have returned to their homes, so it is possible to even visit the locals.
As you know, it is unrealistic to get around everything in one day. Some people will not have enough days for walks around Pripyat. As traffic is prohibited in the Exclusion Zone after 8 pm, the time frame must be observed. However, the group decides which locations to visit and where to spend more time, but basically everyone wants to see everything, which, unfortunately, is not very possible in one day, and everyone still has to undergo mandatory dosimetric controls at the exit from the Zone to be 100% sure that no one is "dirty".
The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is divided into three, sorry for the tautology, zones. This is a 30-kilometer, 10-kilometer and the territory of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The first is quite safe, because it is assigned a buffer task. It is the city of Chernobyl, where the radiation background is sometimes even slightly lower than in our capital. "Ten" is 90% polluted, but the routes run in places with slightly elevated levels of radiation.
Regarding the station itself and its territory, after the commissioning of the New Safe Confinement (NSC) at the end of last year, at least a fivefold drop in the radiation background was recorded. Our guests can see for themselves, as the photos on the background of the station with a dosimeter is a must-have for most tourists, and on the Internet you can find photos of our visitors with such photos over the years. Until recently, there was about 4-3 μSv/h, and now about 0.86-0.88 μSv/h. But even if you decide to visit the interior of the station, you will be dressed in a special suit, the control will be as careful as possible, and stay in the area of high radiation is short enough so that your body does not absorb more than the allowable norm.
In one day, the human body absorbs as much radiation as in two days in Kiev or in a few hours of flight. Yes, this is one of the reasons why pilots retire early. Natural radiation is everywhere: in food, in our bodies, and hugs with a loved one also increase the amount of dose received. The most powerful source of radiation is huge massive fusion reactors, which we usually call "stars". So the closer to the Sun, the higher the ionizing radiation. As in the exclusion zone you will not be allowed too close and for too long to dangerous sources of radiation.
You can eat in the dining room for Chernobyl workers overlooking the station, provided that the greens do not interfere. Chernobyl has a restaurant and shops. During the multi-day period, visitors usually have breakfast and dinner in the restaurant, and lunch in the dining room.
Today there are 21 routes in the Exclusion Zone: 13 land, 5 water and 3 air. They pass through clean places, where the average radiation power is about 0.20 μSv/h. Testing and measurements should give good results so that it is approved by all responsible structures.
Routes for a bicycle tour are currently being tested. One at 38 and the other at 60 kilometers. The first in the villages where they lived or still live self-settlers, for example, in Kupuvaty. Longer - in addition to settlements, will be a little beyond the zone where animals such as kulans, camels, mouflons, bison and many other interesting representatives of the fauna live.
Of course, everyone has their own tastes. However, the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone is not just a geographical area. People come here for various reasons: for some it is a historic place with a very interesting Soviet architecture, someone wants to see with their own eyes the places they saw in the movies or imagined reading books. Sometimes someone remembers seeing these locations at zero, playing a favorite game with heartfelt gatherings by the fire and hordes of mutants.
This is the place of the most serious man-made disaster, the place of tragic history. It is a unique experience consisting of different feelings. And as the expectations from the trip to the Zone are different, so are the conclusions for each. Inner revelations from what is heard, from what is seen or even ... from silence.