Nuclear business: First tourist hostel opens up in Chernobyl – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views
August 24, 2017

Nuclear business: First tourist hostel opens up in Chernobyl

Tired of the old holiday reliables like Magalluf and Santa Ponsa? Fancy something more daring, and somewhat unhealthier? How about a trip to the dead zone of Chernobyl in the Ukraine?

April 25, 1986, became a day to remember. On that date, Chernobyl, Ukraine, entered the world’s lexicon and became a grim footnote in history books.

On that night, a test was carried out to determine if electricity produced by the rotational energy of steam turbines would be sufficient to power the reactor’s coolant pumps for long enough in the event of a power failure, until the backup diesel generators kicked in. At the time, the generators would take up to 75 seconds to attain operability, which posed an unacceptable risk.

Design flaws in the reactor, together with operator error amidst a somewhat generalized lax safety culture across Russian power plants, conspired to cause a catastrophic failure that blew Reactor 4’s 2000 ton upper plate sky high, exposing its core.

Some 30 years after the disaster, and with Reactor 4’s wreck encased in a sarcophagus to prevent further contamination, the area is now host to the first tourist hostel.

Located right in the middle of the exclusion zone, barely 9 miles out from the stricken plant, the hostel was funded and built with the help of the Ukrainian government, aiming to boost tourism income.

As it now stands, the facility can cater for about 50 people, but it will be refitted to accommodate 102 beds inside single and double rooms.

And spending the night inside the dead zone is rather economic, too, it seems. You can book a one-night stay for a paltry 198 Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH) ($7.60, £5.95, or about 6.05e.)

Each room boasts a plasma TV, en-suite toilet, ‘modern’ furniture, and free Wi-Fi to send your favorite snaps of the surrounding wasteland.

Just don’t hang around the outside for too long.

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