In an attempt to put a positive spin on the world's worst nuclear disaster site - Chernobyl, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, on Wednesday has signed a decree to turn it into an official tourist site, as per international reports.
Announcing his plans for the makeover of the nuclear site, Zelensky said that his administration will launch plans for walking trails and better cell phone reception for thrill seekers seeking selfies, according to international reports.
Speaking at a press conference, Zelensky said that it was time to change the negative perception Chernobyl created for Ukraine's history adding that a green corridor will be created in the man-made disaster site.
“Chernobyl has been a negative part of Ukraine’s brand, it is time to change this. Chernobyl is a unique place on the planet where nature (has been)reborn after a huge man-made disaster. We will create a green corridor for tourists," said Zelensky.
Chernobyl has become a tourist attraction since May when the HBO miniseries was released which has been acclaimed worldwide for authentically portraying Soviet life in that era, depicting the gripping sketch of events that resulted in the catastrophe and its immediate aftermath.
Here are some of the visuals of the present-day Chernobyl and the abandoned town nearby (Pripyat):
Photo: CEO magazine
According to World nuclear Organisation, The April 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine was the product of a flawed Soviet reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained personnel. It was a direct consequence of Cold War isolation and the resulting lack of any safety culture. The accident destroyed the Chernobyl 4 reactor, killing 30 operators and firemen within three months and several further deaths later.
While nobody offsite suffered from acute radiation effects, a significant fraction of the thyroid cancers have been diagnosed since the accident in patients who were children at the time - likely to be due to intake of radioactive iodine fallout. Resettlement of areas from which people were relocated is ongoing.
The Chernobyl disaster was a unique event and the only accident in the history of commercial nuclear power where radiation-related fatalities occurred. While it is unique to the Eastern Soviet Bloc, it led to major changes in safety culture and in industry cooperation, particularly between East and West before the end of the Soviet Union. Former President Gorbachev said that the Chernobyl accident was a more important factor in the fall of the Soviet Union