About 10 thousand tourists annually visit the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, recognized by American journalists as the most exotic place of tourism in the world. Every year the flow of visitors grows. The cost of the tour to the radioactive zone is small: from $ 20 to $ 500.
The standard tourist route to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone begins in Kiev. Tours must be booked in advance, as firms submit documents to the administration for permission. The only restriction is that persons under the age of 18 are not allowed to enter the zone.
The greatest interest to travel to Chernobyl is shown by foreigners. Leaders are citizens of the United States, Poland, Germany. Applications for visiting Chernobyl come from specialists with professional interest in the zone: biologists, physicists, ecologists and journalists.
“A typical one-day trip goes like this: visiting the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, inspecting the Sarcophagus facility, getting acquainted with the ghost town of Pripyat and the so-called self-travelers,” Marina Polyakova, head of the international relations and development department of the ChernobylInterinform state agency, told.
Recently, among tourists, there are often amateurs of the computer game “STALKER: Call of Pripyat”. Simultaneously, real “stalkers” go to the zone: some climb for prey, others for extreme sensations. The first mainly locals. The zone attracts them with dumps of abandoned machinery, metal, an abundance of wood, mushrooms, berries and fish. All radioactive economy is sold to resellers, and from them it spreads all over Ukraine and abroad.
Looting in the zone has been flourishing for a long time. The prosperous city of the nuclear power plant Pripyat was plundered even in the time of the Soviet Union, although militia officers guarded it then. It is said that at that time there were entire teams specializing in furniture, carpets, dishes, clothes, cars. Then came the time of wires from non-ferrous metals. Then the looters reached the warehouse of cars abandoned due to radiation pollution. First, the engines, spare parts, wheels were removed. When there were no spare parts, the bodies themselves began to disappear.
The current marauders clean up everything that is left: pipes, batteries, covers of sewer hatches.

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