Red Corner: Chernobyl Tours

src="http://www.gadling.com/media/2006/02/Chernobyl.jpg" width="200" align="right" vspace="4" border="1" />On the
heels of yesterday’s post
about profit-mongers arranging tours of Katrina-destroyed New Orleans, I recalled another, far more insidious tour
that takes place in an even worse disaster zone: Chernobyl.

Yep, that’s right.  If you’ve ever wanted to book a trip where the most important item to bring
along is a Geiger counter, than head on over to Ukraine.  Although Erik already href="http://www.gadling.com/2005/06/16/chernobyls-charms/">posted about this back in June, I couldn’t resist
revisiting with a few more thoughts.

TourKiev.com offers full day
trips into the “Zone of Estrangement”
where lucky tourists can get up close (100 meters) and personal
with the infamous reactor #4. The tour also passes through the “dead” town of Pripyat—once home to
48,000 people but now a modern-day ghost town—as well as a couple of small villages populated by a handful of
locals who have returned against government wishes, to live out their final days on the contaminated land.  Like
any quality tour, lunch is also included, and promises to be “ecologically clean.”

I’ve been thinking about this trip for a long time, but frankly it scares the pants off of me. 
TourKiev.com is full of information about how “safe” the tour is, claiming that visitors are exposed to
only the same amount of radiation one experiences on a transatlantic flight.  A href="http://observer.guardian.co.uk/travel/story/0,6903,1598425,00.html"> fascinating article in The Observer
written by a journalist who went on the tour, maintains the same. 

Whatever your fears, however, take a moment to check out the href="http://www.tourkiev.com/chern.html">fascinating photos on the site.  Then decide for yourself if the
risk of future mutation is worth it.