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Ukraine Opens Radioactive Chernobyl Reactor Control Room to Tourists

In an effort to boost tourism to turn the Chernobyl disaster zone into a tourist attraction, the Ukrainian government recently decided to open a highly radioactive reactor control room to tourists.

The control room of Chernobyl’s reactor four is where Ukrainian engineers turned off the nuclear reactor’s cooling pumps during a safety test in April of 1986. It was this act that eventually led to a catastrophic explosion that killed 28 people in the immediate aftermath and left the surrounding area around the power plant contaminated with radioactive waste. It hardly sounds like the perfect tourist destination, but you’ll be surprised how many daredevils would pay serious cash for a chance to set foot in the room where the world’s most devastating nuclear catastrophe. And the Ukrainian government is ready to make their dream come true.

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Scientist Create “Atomik Vodka” from Grains and Water around Chernobyl

An international team of scientists studying the exclusion zone around Chernobyl recently unveiled a bottle of vodka made with water and cereal grown in the area around the abandoned nuclear power plant.

Called ‘Atomik’, this vodka is the first consumer product to have come out of the Chernobyl exclusion zone ever since the nuclear catastrophe that hit Ukraine in 1986. The grains used to make it were grown on a farm located withing the zone, and while analysis showed that they did some radioactive elements, the distillation process reportedly removed all impurities so the Atomik Vodka was found to contain the same radioactive compound as any other spirits drink – natural Carbon-14.

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Chernobyl Nuclear Plant to Become Official Tourist Attraction

The Ukrainian government has announced the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site will be included in a full scale tourist program.

I know it sounds weird, but tourists have been visiting Chernobyl through unofficial tourism programs, for several years. Authorities are just trying to make things official, so they can actually cash out on the interest people have in the famous contaminated zone. Oddly enough, the Ukrainian Ministry of Emergency will be in charge of operating tours, and although they guarantee every measure will be taken to insure tourists’ safety, Chernobyl isn’t really as safe as they’ll have you think.

On April 26, 1986, reactor number 4 of the local nuclear power station exploded, causing the greatest nuclear disaster in the history of mankind (not counting the ones caused by US nuclear bombs in Japan). A perimeter of 30 miles around the epicenter was closed up to the public, to prevent radioactive contamination, maintained by thousands of technicians, to reduce exposure to radiation. While the catastrophe happened almost a quarter of a century ago, the area around the power station is still very dangerous, especially since the remaining three nuclear reactors have not been shut down, and the shield placed over reactor 4 has been steadily deteriorating, under pressure from within. A new, improved “sarcophagus”, big enough to cover the Statue of Liberty and weighing 20,000 tons, will be ready in 2012.

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