Since today is Halloween our staff wants to give you the lowdown on one of the creepiest places on the planet—Chernobyl.
For those of you out there that aren’t nuclear physicists or into dark tourism, Chernobyl is the sight of the “worst” nuclear meltdown, which to Gomer Pyle’s surprise surprise was caused by big government (in that case the Soviet Union) interference.
In the early hours of April 26th, 1986 one of the four reactors at the plant blew during a mandated safety inspection (which had been postponed to the less qualified night shift, due to local bureaucratic heads not wanting to experience a power-outage during the day).
The first firefighters on the scene died almost immediately from all of the radiation.
The people living in the small towns around the power plant of Chernobyl, Pripyat, and the rest of the surrounding area weren’t told about the blast until three days later, when everyone was forcefully evacuated. Each person was given three hours to leave, and was told that they should only take their important legal documents, because they’d be able to return soon.
That soon has yet to happen.
How hard is it to get into the zone?
Well, the whole area is cordoned off, and tour groups are only able to enter through the special Ukrainian army checkpoints, where they’ll record your passport number for
the KGB posterity. Otherwise though, joining a tour is a lot like Disney.
Dress code: While you are expected to leave your fallout suit at home, you do have to wear long sleeves and long pants. Given that the ground moss is still fairly radioactive, Pripyat is not the place for your run of the mill Nikes or flip-flops. Think boots, all the better if steel toe.
Be prepared for a lot of walking over debris and glass.
After surveying Pripyat, be sure to hit the Chernobyl canteen for some borscht and a raisin muffin.
If you have the time, plan your trip to the reactor soon, before they put on the new sarcophagus.