Anyone who is not indifferent to the past, present and future of Chernobyl is familiar with the ambitious plans of the authors of the project for the development of the exclusion zone – “Revitalization of the Chernobyl zone: development of tourist infrastructure facilities”.
Just one name draws in the head a city with modern infrastructure and new technologies. Revitalization is a concept close to restoration and, in this context, encompasses a set of measures related to the rehabilitation of the radioactive contaminated territories of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
The Exclusion Zone existing today can no longer be regarded only as a radiation hazardous territory. This is a unique natural “Klondike and Eldorado” with an almost reserved regime, with the biological diversity of the flora and fauna restored in a natural way.
In addition, Chernobyl today is a place that attracts a large army of lovers of extreme relaxation, and the Exclusion Zone confidently moved into the category of a world-famous tourist attraction, which is visited by about a thousand tourists a year. Chernobyl and its future, as well as how the authors of the new project see modern Chernobyl, are in the following material.
It is no surprise to anyone that Chernobyl and Pripyat, as well as the Exclusion Zone as a whole, are an open-air museum conglomerate with huge tourist, scientific and educational potential. The founders of a new project for the development of this territory clearly marked the scientific and tourist values as priority in the development of the Zone.
They are the focus of the entire project. It does not detail individual elements; it only illustrates the general ideological meaning, understandable even to those who are only briefly familiar with the historical features of the Polesie region in general and the Exclusion Zone in particular.
Explore… Rest…. Learn…
The authors of the project for the industrial revival of the Chernobyl zone took a serious step towards creating modern infrastructure throughout its territory. The focus is primarily on research and tourism activities, which in turn should lead to a significant flow of investment. Most of the main functionality of the Zone will be concentrated on the tourism, this has its own logic.
Chernobyl will be guaranteed safe for tourists to stay in it with the achievement of maximum control over the state of the radioactive situation, with the presence of a clear structural relationship while creating the whole range of safe conditions for people to stay in the exclusion zone. The Chernobyl: Future project proposes to develop tourism in the following areas:
- ecological tourism,
- extreme tourism,
- photo safari.
The authors believe that the overall economic recovery of the Polesie region is a matter of one decade with the comprehensive development of tourism, with the functioning of fundamental research laboratories, with a high culture of environmental attitudes. The minus of the project is that innovators have not taken into account the presence of enterprises yet that will work with radioactive waste for a long time.
The Chernobyl NPP itself and spent nuclear fuel are now actively debated about their participation in the future infrastructure of the Chernobyl zone. Perhaps they will enter into it with some kind of historical illustration – as it was and how it became, or maybe – they will become an additional mega-technological object against the background of the general industrial complex.
The future of the Chernobyl eco-structure industry
All electricity needs of the future Chernobyl zone are planned to be covered with the help of wind generators. The authors of the project present the Chernobyl infrastructure in the form of four main locations interconnected by a monorail transport artery. The first location, situated on the southeastern border of the exclusion zone, is designed to receive tourists and organize the work of zone personnel.
The confluence of the Pripyat River into the Kiev Reservoir is a good help for using water transport for this purpose. It is proposed to place two other locations on the base of the village of Ilyintsy, abandoned today and directly in Chernobyl itself, giving each object a modern look for the transport interchange.
The fourth object should be the station “Reserve”. It is on its basis that it is planned to create a new ultramodern architectural object in the north of the Chernobyl zone. The purpose of this station is purely scientific. It should be an ideal place for scientific research, including international symposiums and collegiums, laboratories and scientific tourism.
The authors of the project are working on laboratory infrastructure now, which, according to the rules and radio engineering requirements, should be located at a certain distance from residential facilities. Landfills and pilot sites should not bear even the slightest danger, so their placement provides for an “individual” layout.
The scientific segment should not represent a risk zone, including from a tourist point of view. It is planned to build a huge city park in Chernobyl itself, something like an ecological oasis, with all the necessary scientific improvements. All this does not exclude the presence of a radiation control framework at each location. Radiation cleanliness is the main criterion for the entire project, otherwise it does not make sense.
The main transport corridor of the future exclusion zone should be the monorail. The location of the tracks at an altitude of about six meters above ground level will provide comfortable conditions for a visual inspection of the nature of the Chernobyl zone.
The monorail will not interfere with the free movement of animals across the territory – the transport artery does not bear restrictions on movement and assimilation. Moreover, the designers applied a special model of noise reduction in the construction of the new railway, thereby worrying about noise protection for all types of animals.
There is still a significant drawback of the project as a whole – the construction of the railway and a number of other facilities will take place on the radioactive territory. A certain amount of radioactive dust will enter the air during work with soil. As a result, workers will be at risk of exposure to radiation. In addition, construction work in the exclusion zone is associated with the formation and accumulation of radioactive waste.
Everything for tourists
The authors plan to create residential modules in Chernobyl – compact, small-sized structures for the short stay of tourists in them, with the presence of minimal comfort in them. It will be possible to enjoy the unique landscapes of the landscapes of the Chernobyl zone with the help of modern observation towers in the future.
According to the authors, the towers will be equipped with elevators, which will provide tourists with an inspection of the objects at a 25-30-meter height. This is a unique perspective for professionals in the field of ornithology and just for bird watchers. Chernobyl tourists will enjoy unique Chernobyl landscapes and unforgettable emotions in the future.
It will be possible to find a similar object nowhere in the world in which the whole history of its evolution will be uniquely illustrated. From the moment the NPP was built in 1972 and to the full launch of the powerful nuclear power plant in 1979, from the introduction of an operational experiment that led to the greatest man-made disaster on a planetary scale to a monument to the liquidators of the consequences of the accident and the construction of a new modern confinement.
Of course, the appearance of this project is an indicator of great interest in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Moreover, the need for it arises among professionals of various classifications. But it is also interesting that even non-specialists in matters of the Chernobyl zone see the need to develop tourism and science in it. Separate project non-deliveries are still present.
They are an indicator of how important it is to work closely with architects, builders, radiobiologists, zoologists, lawyers and economists. Creating a unique complex is not enough – you need a clear understanding of the environmental nature of the Chernobyl zone. After all, it is in it that scientists will work, and tourists will rest. Such a large-scale project can be implemented only if there is a Strategy for the development of the exclusion zone for the next 50 years.
Hopes for this are becoming more realistic every year. The attitude towards nuclear energy has changed after more than thirty years. Colossal losses showed how terrible the consequences of experiments with new technologies can be if they are in the hands of not enough qualified personnel. Alas, for the time being we live in a time when virtually any new technology cannot evolve without accidents.
A heavy list of catastrophes that have occurred around the world related to the use of the atom is vivid proof of this. Paradoxically, we are still learning from our mistakes. It’s time to draw the appropriate conclusions…