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Chernobyl Opens to Tourists

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Was your New Year's resolution to live more dangerously? Book a flight to the Ukraine. Nearly 25 years after Chernobyl's Reactor No. 4 exploded, wreaking nuclear devastation upon the surrounding area, the Ukrainian government is allowing tourists to enter the exclusion zone set up after the accident on official tours starting this year.

Though it was previously possible to tour the disaster zone through private tour companies, 2011 brings the first official and legal tours authorized by the Ukrainian government.

Visitors will tour the 30-mile radius exclusion zone on a route designed to minimize exposure to harmful radiation, and have the opportunity to see the reactor from a safe distance, in addition to viewing how nature has taken over the nearby ghost town of Pripyat, abandoned by its 50,000 residents after the disaster.

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Lyndsey Matthews is an online editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by iStock

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