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- Visiting Europe
Holiday of a Lifetime?
At last, the holiday destination you have all dreamed of.
Starting in 2011, the Ukraine is going to open Chernobyl to tourism.
Chernobyl used to be a nuclear power plant, when 25 years ago, reactor No. 4 exploded on April 26, 1986.
The explosion created nuclear fallout across northern Europe. Thousands of people had to be resettled. Within a 30 mile radius of the reactor, a highly contaminated area, all visits were prohibited. A hastily built construction of iron and concrete was placed over the reactor. Over the years however, this construction is cracking, leaking radiation and threatening to collapse.
A new safer shell is in production, to enclose the existing cover. The new shell will be big enough that it could house Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris or The Statue of Liberty in New York. It is being financed by international donors and is estimated to cost $1.15 billion. The shell will be placed over the reactor using rail tracks.
2,500 employees, who currently maintain the now closed nuclear plant, have to work in shifts so as to minimize exposure to radiation.
The United Nations Development Program chief Helen Clark toured the Chernobyl plant and said she supported the plan because it could help raise money and tell an important lesson about nuclear safety.
The Ukraine’s Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Yulia Yershova said experts are developing travel routes that will be both medically safe and informative for Ukrainians as well as foreign visitors.
So, you can soon visit Chernobyl. But before you book, remember that the new Shell is not expected to be ready for placement until 2015.
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