The Ukrainian government has opened a new hostel, smack in the middle of the Chernobyl exclusion zone, an area so dangerous, even 31 years after a nuclear reactor exploded, that no one is permitted to live there.
Although no one is allowed to live in the 19-mile radius area from the blast, a territory of over 1,000 square miles, visitors are allowed, but only with permission and only for short stays. The new 50-bed hostel, soon to be expanded to 102 beds, is 9 miles from the blast site, at the abandoned city of Pripyat.
For nearly unfathomable reasons, the area has become an in-demand destination with tours including an amusement park that was never opened (its opening was scheduled for 4 days after the blast) and other eerie reminders. The reactor itself is sealed under a concrete and steel structure which traps 16 tons of uranium and plutonium and 30 tons of highly contaminated dust.