The Ukraine government will also crack down on corruption by introducing an electronic ticket system for visitors.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on July 11, 2019

It is already a hot spot for intrepid tourists after the hit HBO miniseries Chernobyl and now the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident is to be turned into a tourist site.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on Wednesday (Ukraine time) outlining plans for new walking trails and enhanced mobile phone reception to help with those Instagram shots.

“Chernobyl has been a negative part of Ukraine’s brand,” Mr Zelensky said, BBC News reported. “The time has come to change this.”

The abandoned amusement park near Chernobyl.
The abandoned amusement park near Chernobyl.

A reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power station exploded on 26 April 1986, sending a radioactive plume across Europe and, according to the United Nations, nearly 50,000 square kilometres of land were contaminated and nearly 8,400,000 people in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia exposed to the radiation. At least 31 people were killed in the immediate aftermath.

The amusement park at Pripyat, the abandoned town next to Chernobyl.
The abandoned dodgem cars at Pripyat, the abandoned town next to Chernobyl.

“We will create a green corridor for tourists,” Zelensky said. “Chernobyl is a unique place on the planet where nature (has been) reborn after a huge man-made disaster.

“We have to show this place to the world: to scientists, ecologists, historians [and] tourists.”

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has outlined plans to make Chernobyl an official tourist attraction.

Thousands of tourists are already heading to Chernobyl annually despite the radiation levels being higher than normal. It’s a two hour drive north of Kiev.

The new decree contained plans for waterways and checkpoints in the area. It also revealed that restrictions on filming the site would be lifted.

The government will also crack down on corruption by introducing an electronic ticket system for visitors.

“The exclusion zone is also a symbol of corruption,” Zelensky said. “This includes bribes that law enforcers collect from tourists. We will stop all of this very soon.”

Zelensky spoke at an official inauguration ceremony for a new metal dome that encases the destroyed reactor.

The shield – which cost US$1.7 billion to build was moved into place in 2016 and is designed to prevent further radioactive material leaking out over the next century.

It measures 275m (900ft) wide and 108m (354ft) tall, which is high enough to cover the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France