Chernobyl To Open For Tourism - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Chernobyl To Open For Tourism

(CNN) - Ukraine says it will lift restrictions on tourism in the zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 2011, formally opening the scene of the world's worst nuclear accident to visitors.

A limited number of visitors already are allowed into the 30-kilometer (19-mile) exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which exploded and burned in 1986. The Ukrainian government will present a detailed plan for lifting the remaining restrictions on travel to the area December 21, said Viktor Baloga, the former Soviet republic's emergency situations minister.

Background radiation in the accident zone is still well above normal. But far from being a wasteland, wildlife has rebounded in the exclusion zone and trees are reclaiming the ghost city of Pripyat, said Mary Mycio, author of "Wormwood Forest," a 2005 book on the area.

"It is very moving and interesting and a beautiful monument to technology gone awry," Mycio said.

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