Chernobyl disaster

Why more tourists are visiting the world's worst nuclear accident

A Chernobyl tour guide explains its appeal for thousands of visitors
A TV drama about Chernobyl, the world's worst nuclear accident, has proved so popular that it is boosting tourism to the site. An estimated 60,000 tourists visited last year but the smiling selfies in front of the destroyed nuclear plant have so angered the show's creator that he has publicly criticised such behaviour. Craig Mazin's message to tourists is "comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed," So how has a place that was once among the most dangerous on earth become a tourist destination? Newsday's Alex Ritson spoke to Mariana Levchenko, a Chernobyl tour guide. 

(Photo: Tourists measure levels of radioactivity in front of the 4th block of the Chernobyl Nuclear power plant Credit: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)

I lived through the worst nuclear disaster in history

Ludmila lived in the region affected by the nuclear accident at Chernobyl in 1986
The accident at the Chernobyl power plant in 1986 was the worst nuclear disaster in history.

One of the nuclear reactors exploded and released radiation that was at least 100 times more than the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War Two.

Over the last few weeks a dramatisation of the accident has been broadcast on television by HBO.

So what was it like to live through the story the show tells?

Ludmila Pekarska was under 100km away in Kiev at the time of the accident with her two young children.

(Photo: Ludmila Pekarska. Credit: Dmytro Lukin)
Drones map Chernobyl contamination
Chernobyl's "Red Forest" - one of the most radioactive locations on Earth - has just been surveyed by UK scientists using a suite of drones.
Jessie Buckley and Emily Watson

Emma Saunders

Entertainment reporter

Emily Watson and Jessie Buckley on getting to the truth in new TV drama Chernobyl, based on the 1986 nuclear plant disaster.

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