One of the world’s most infamous disaster sites is becoming a tourist attraction. The HBO series Chernobyl has caused a spike in visitors to Pripyat, a now-abandoned neighbouring town that was evacuated after the power plant reactor explosion in Chernobyl in 1986.
Groups have been able to take government-approved tours of the area for a number of years now, but the Ukraine has announced it will be designating Chernobyl as an official tourist attraction and introducing upgrades to the site.
In early July, Ukranian President Zelensky unveiled a metal dome, spanning over 275 metres wide and 108 metres high, that now encases the damaged reactor. The dome, which took over nine years to complete, is designed to prevent the leakage of any additional radioactive material.
At the inauguration ceremony for the new dome, President Zelensky said that, in the coming years, Chernobyl will be getting new walking trails, information points and improved cell phone reception to make the site more accessible for tourists. Ukraine’s government says that tours of the Chernobyl area don't expose visitors to significant levels of radiation – although those who’d rather keep their distance can check out the Chernobyl museum in Kiev as an alternative.