Fans of the hugely successful HBO series Chernobyl can see the real place where the horrifying events from the show happened by visiting the infamous control room number four, the room at the center of the 1986 disaster.
The decision to open up control room number four to the public came after Ukrainian President Volydymyr Zelensky signed a decree making Chernobyl an ‘official tourist attraction’ in June of this year, according to CNN Travel.
“Until now, Chernobyl was a negative part of Ukraine’s brand. It’s time to change it.” Zelensky said.
In a bid to update the infamous site, the Ukrainian government plans to invest in new checkpoints and pathways to enhance the visitors experience at Chernobyl.
Tourists brave enough to visit control room number four are permitted to a short, five minute tour of the room. Visitors will be required to put on helmets, protective clothing, and respirators to prevent overexposure to radiation, which is still about 40,000 higher than normal. Visitors will also be screened after the tour to check for abnormally high levels of radiation.
Visitors expecting to see a pristine, well maintained control room will be sadly disappointed. According a 2011 Guardian report, The room has largely been stripped of all it’s instrumentation and switches by people known as “Souvenir-hunters”. A few remnants remain, like diagrams depicting the behavior of the reactor and a few aging wires.
Interest in the highly radioactive site have continued to climb, with over 87,000 people have made the journey to the site of the worst nuclear disaster in history in 2019, compared to the 72,000 in 2018.