Ukraine plans to open Chernobyl, site of massive nuclear disaster, open to tourists in 2011
Chernobyl: now open to tourists
US Nuclear Weapons Accidents
Atomic Heritage Foundation
Commemorating various tragedies is nothing new, and for better or worse, neither is attempting to profit from them. In recent years, various operators have created new tours to look at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and other such disasters, and the public outcry has been significant. Twenty-four years after the nuclear accident at Chernobyl, it appears that the Ukrainian government wants to open the area around the long-defunct plant to curious tourists. The interestingly named "Situations Ministry" announced this Monday that it wants to allow visitors to take in vistas of the plant, along with giving them the ability to wander around the towns and villages that were abandoned after the events of April 26, 1986. As of late, many clandestine tours of Chernobyl have been run by a wide range of skilled and less skilled tour operators, and some of them charge up to $150. Situations Ministry spokesperson Yulia Yurshova commented recently, "The Chernobyl zone isn't as scary as the whole world thinks. We want to work with big tour operators and attract Western tourists, from whom there's great demand."
The first link will take visitors to a piece from this Monday's Wall Street Journal about this recent development in the promotion of Chernobyl as a tourist destination. The second link leads to a piece by the New York Daily News' Philip Caulfield on this story. Moving along, the third link will take interested parties to a piece from the Guardian which talks a bit more about the specifics of the tourism scheme for the region. The fourth link leads to an amazingly detailed and well-organized site on the Chernobyl disaster and its aftermath, courtesy of the United Nations Development Programme and other partners. The fifth link leads to a fine paper by Jaya Tiwari and Cleve J. Gray, which details the history of nuclear weapons accidents in the United States from 1950 to 1984. Finally, the sixth link will take users to The Atomic Heritage Foundation site, which includes information about online atomic history websites, materials for educators, and so on.