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Since the HBO mini-series aired, Chernobyl has seen a sharp rise in visitors – so why not make it a thing? The site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster that resulted in thousands of deaths has become an official tourist attraction. According to the President of Ukraine, it’s about time to have a different narrative surrounding the abandoned area.

As a part of a tourism boom in Ukraine, the control room of Chernobyl reactor four is now open to the public. It was in that same room in April 1986 that Soviet engineers shut down cooling pumps as part of a test, causing an out-of-control reaction, explosion, and fire that killed at least 54 people and exposed hundreds of thousands to harmful radiation. Now, for the travelers seeking some dark tourism, whoever is brave enough to venture inside can catch a glimpse of the place where tragic history was made.via Getty Images

The place is still unstable, filled with an estimated 200 tonnes of radioactive fuel, and the whole region is still abandoned, with human habitation restricted within the 1,000-square-mile zone. But thanks to Ukraine, worldwide fans of the series and history buffs can now find multiple tours in the area. After years of only being able to see it from the outside, visitors can now explore the plant and nearby ghost towns with 21 tourist routes.via Getty Images

Thanks to HBO, tourist turnout has been increasing and more than 87,000 people have visited the Chernobyl site this year, compared to 72,000 last year. But just a heads up, you’ll spend far more time donning respirators, helmets, and protective clothing than inside the actual plant, for protection from the harmful radiation that still roams within the abandoned area.

Source: The Telegraph