How To Get Inside Chernobyl’s Reactor 4
· 7 min. read
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When I visited Chernobyl in 2016, very few people had ever heard of it. Fast-forward to 2019 and Chernobyl is one of the fastest-growing tourism spots in Europe, thanks to the HBO mini-series Chernobyl. It has grown so much, so fast, that in July 2019 Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky even declared it an official tourism destination.
It's been incredible to see this location get the international recognition it deserves, but with it comes the question of what to do with Reactor 4 ? the unfortunate reactor that exploded and radiated the area. The reactor is imprisoned inside the "Sarcophagus" and is now covered in the New Safe Confinement structure. This means that hopefully, no radiation will escape its fiery, burning pit.
But what if somebody wanted to get inside?
(And preferably not die?)
ChernobylWel.come just announced a tour that does just that. For only ?179 (or $260 CAD) you can wander the golden halls that connect the plants, visit the Central Control Room, and even stand inside Unit 4 Control Room, where the AZ-5 shutdown button was pressed. You will also see the monument to Valeriy Khodymchuk, an engineer who was lost inside the reactor and was never found.
The three-hour trip also includes visits to Slavutych Railway Station, Checkpoint "Semikhody" and a provided lunch break.
One of the questions people ask me is if I had to wear anything protective when visiting Chernobyl. Beyond pants and a sweater, I didn't. But if one was to take this tour, that is a requirement. Thankfully, ChernobylWel.come provides white overalls just like the staff used to wear. They also provide Geiger counters, documents, permits and the insurance needed to explore the inside of the reactor.
(Good luck getting that insurance yourself!)
You can explore the reactor with two of ChernobylWel.come's tours: either their two-day Chernobyl Power Plant and Pripyat Tour (?429 or $620 CAD) or their Private Chernobyl Tour (?119 or $170 CAD). The private tour also includes several additional add-ons, such as sunset or sunrise in Pripyat, having a beer with one of the liquidators, bringing groceries and having lunch with the local babushkas and even flying a helicopter over the city.
Although you're entering a leaking, burning radioactive plant, ChernobylWel.come says you will expose you to less than 1 microsievert of radiation in the three-hour tour of the plant, with no more than 8 microsieverts being exposed to you in the two days you are in the city. This is only 4% of the daily radioactivity received by nuclear plant workers in the EU today!
But what if you feel like Chernobyl is becoming over-touristed? What if you want to go somewhere equally as radioactive but with fewer people? ChernobylWel.come has also announced tours of Fukushima ? the site of the 2011 Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown. This one-day tour costs ?119 (or $170 CAD) and starts in Tokyo, Japan. The tour guides pick you up at 7:30AM and you return to Tokyo by 9PM. Along the way, you'll visit an abandoned apartment, abandoned shops, cemeteries, hospitals, schools, shrines and even have a traditional Japanese lunch.
Unlike Chernobyl, Fukushima had three reactors meltdown and three hydrogen explosions. Also, unlike Chernobyl, they evacuated the city immediately. 170,000 people were uprootedand they left behind the empty shell of a city.
While Chernobyl will forever be a radioactive wasteland, Fukushima isn't. Massive cleanup efforts have begun, and the area is now a must-visit spot for any Japanese holiday.
But I know what you're thinking? great, still crowds, still people. I want to go somewhere that everybody isn't going to! Don't worry, because ChernobylWel.come has your back with that too! Starting last year, they are now offering tours to North Korea! Come explore the Hermit Kingdom and venture into a utopia (or dystopia, depending on who you ask) where access to the outside world is restricted. Enjoy a world of no Internet, no television and the constant reminder of that The Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un is watching you.
ChernobylWel.come only has two tours a year to North Korea, both starting in Beijing, China. The first is for the birthday celebration of Supreme Commander Kim ll Sung (April 15) with the tour operating from April 12 ? 23. The next tour is for May Day (May 1) with the tour goes from April 27 ? May 7.
Both tours take you on to Pyongyang as well as the Korean War Museum and the International Friendship Exhibition. You can also visit the Demilitarized Zone and border cities between North Korea and China.
These tours are at ?1199 ($1760 CAD) for a 5-day tour, ?1499 ($2200 CAD) for a 7-day tour and ?1799 ($2640 CAD) for a 9-day tour.
With all these tours in mind, it's best to remember this company started off in Ukraine ? and many of their most well-attended tours are in and around Eastern Europe. These include Kyiv Dark History tours, Underground Urbex tours, Joseph Stalin Secret Tunnels tours or the one I find the most fascinating, their Baikonur Cosmodrome tour in Kazakhstan ? which I've written about earlier this year.
ChernobylWel.come offers a lot of incredible, fascinating and bizarre tours around the world, and I love seeing how much the company has grown. Where would you travel to? Personally, I'm on the fence between Kazakhstan and North Korea.
I would like to thank ChernobylWel.come for helping me with this blog article and would like to clarify that they did not sponsor any of this article. I just love the company and I'd love it for some of you to visit these incredible places.
All images belong to ChernobylWel.come with the exception of the website banner/thumbnail, which belongs to Independant.co.uk whom I believed used it from the EPA.
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Categories: Chernobyl & Pripyat, Dark Tourism, Paranormal, Ukraine