[ RadSafe ] Look for that silver lining in the Fukushima cloud

Strickert, Rick rstrickert at signaturescience.com
Fri Mar 18 13:51:02 CDT 2011

Just like the folks at Chernobyl have:


"Visitors to the Chernobyl exclusion zone normally come as part of a tour group. One-day packages which include transportation and food cost around $150-$200, or up to $300 if there's only one of you.

"Things to see:

"Chernobyl reactor 4: You'll not be able to get too close, but the nearest observation point is 200m from the reactor sarcophagus. The only way to get into the reactor is if you are a scientist or a film maker that has had months of preparation in advance. Although radiation levels here will be much higher than elsewhere in the region, you will not be able to pick up a significant dose during your stay. Typical dose at the site seems to be about 0.5 - 0.9 mR/h (milliroentgens per hour) (winter), slightly higher in the summer. However, measurements done from the observation point in October 2008 only showed a value of 14 microroentgens per hour (0.014 mR/h)." 

"Your tour will probably include food, but you're advised to bring your own snacks and drinks. However, some tours let you visit the only shop in Chernobyl where you can buy a beer for your meal. By the end of the tour, you just might need it. If you get access to the Chernobyl administration centre, you will be able to buy souvenirs, such as books detailing the disaster.

"Ukraine's Emergency Situations Ministry announced December 2010 a plan to open the area around the defunct plant-where a reactor exploded on April 26, 1986, spreading radiation across the then-Soviet states of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia-to visitors starting January 2011. 

"Experts were developing tour routes that were medically safe and informative

"Official guide tours announcement from February, 2011 Pregnant women are not allowed on the tours, nor is anyone under 18. 

"The effects of radiation are not as bad as critics contend, they cite how wildlife has staged a remarkable comeback in the area around Chernobyl. Audits in the past have shown that the 18-mile exclusion area or "dead zone" around the plant is now home to 66 different species of mammals, including wild boar, wolves, deer, beavers, foxes, lynx and thousands of elk." 

Rick Strickert
Austin, TX

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