Eerie Chernobyl control room opens to tourists
TOURISTS are set to be allowed inside the control room at Chernobyl for the first time since the blast.
Haunting pictures show inside the room at unit four in the nuclear plant where the disaster began on April 26, 1986, as dramatised in the smash hit HBO series Chernobyl, which is streaming on Foxtel.
The control room is at unit four where the nuclear reactor exploded and the radiation is currently 40,000 times the norm.
Tourists will be given face masks, anti-radiation suits and large industrial boots before being allowed to visit the room.
They will be able to observe the room only for five minutes because of the deadly radiation.
According to Chernobyl staff, the place is blood-chilling and even five minutes is enough to remember it forever.
Vitaly Petruk, the head of the state agency, said: "The HBO series boosted the interest to Chernobyl. Everybody now wants to see more and we are going to satisfy the demand."
The apocalyptic images show the decaying control room where in 1986 the plant's staff made a series of fatal errors then lost the battle trying to prevent the disaster.
Aleksandr Novikov, the head deputy of the Chernobyl plant's technical director, said: "Leonid Toptunov who was on duty that night was my friend.
"He helped to fight with the consequences. He pumped water in the ruined reactor after the explosion and died three weeks later."
After the release of Chernobyl earlier this year, the place became one of the most popular destinations among tourists around the world.
The State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management is designing the 21 new tourist routes to feed the growing interest.
One of the new routes will put tourists inside the control room where the disaster began.
During this year, 85,000 people from around the world visited Ukraine to see the notorious site, local media report.
The Chernobyl disaster occurred in 1986 at unit number four in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
The staff on duty made errors during a safety test that triggered the nuclear reactor's explosion.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission