The most radioactive place on the planet now has its first ever tourist hostel. Located in the heart of the Chernobyl exclusion zone, the new hostel reportedly welcomes tourists from across the globe to explore the area that was devastated by one of the most catastrophic nuclear disasters in human history.
Although the hostel is currently not fully operational, it is reportedly already in high demand and has been fully booked since it opened its doors to tourists. So far, travellers from US, Japan, Belgium and Ireland have already made their way to the hostel. The hostel is the Ukrainian government's initiative and is aimed at boosting tourism in the country.
People come here from all countries, they want to understand what Chernobyl is," Ukranian administrator Svetlana Grishchenko told RT. "We almost don't have any vacant rooms."
The hostel can currently accommodate around 50 people. However, once renovations are complete, it will have a total of 102 beds in single and double rooms. A one-night stay in the hostel currently costs 198 Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH) ($7.60, £5.95) per person. The hostel, which was formerly a Soviet dormitory, has been refurbished so that each room includes a plasma TV, a shower unit, a toilet, Wi-Fi and modern furniture.
Visitors are allowed within the exclusion zone only for short periods of time. The area, which saw thousands evacuated after a nuclear meltdown in 1986, covers around 1,000 square miles and remains largely unpopulated till date, although most of the area is now considered to be relatively safe. Chernobyl's reactor remains covered under a steel and concrete sarcophagus, which currently traps 16 tonnes of uranium and plutonium and 30 tonnes of highly contaminated dust.