Chernobyl Radiation – Now and Then
Radiation is a natural process of energy emission happening everywhere in the world, including our bodies. Still, within decades, the word “radiation” has been associated with the place that changed the history of mankind. Chernobyl is the symbol of the biggest nuclear catastrophe humanity ever faced. Radiation from the 4th Chernobyl power block explosion caused multiple fatal consequences, and even more health problems.
Right after the explosion, the radiation level at the station and its closest area (including Pripyat) reached from 0.1 to 300 Sv per hour. It was almost a billion times higher than the usual radiation level measured in μSv (micro Sieverts).
The areas of evacuation have been remaining empty till our days, though it is quite challenging to find places with radiation levels higher than usual everyday emissions all over the planet.
The New Safe Confinement covered the old Shelter Structure, and the level of radiation near the plant decreased up to 3-4 times. Nowadays, it reaches only 1.2 μSv/hour on average. In some zones of the nearby town of Pripyat, this level approaches the 0.9 μSv mark. Still, mostly, it is not higher than the regular radiation level of 0.3 μSv per hour. Various factors have an impact on that level. For instance, weather conditions and seasons (in winter, radiation levels are lower than average, in summer they can get higher).
Is It Safe to Visit Chernobyl?
More than three decades passed since the explosion, and nowadays, traveling to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is safer than ever before. Our company got safest ever routes through the Zone including places where radiation levels are higher than normal. Tourist groups are nearby them only during the short time periods. Such solutions allow them to be sure about their health safety. And at the same time, they are able to see the most important and interesting sights (in some tours we can even lead you inside the power plant building).
The guaranteed gamma ray dose is 3-4 μSv, which is totally harmless for your health. Just for you to know, active power plant workers around the world have their safe levels set at 50-100 μSv per day.
Every tourist traveling with us gets a cloth respirator and a personal Geiger-Muller dosimeter for their comfort and confidence. Safety first, and we totally guarantee it.
More Info About Radiation
It is important to understand that radiation is a widespread natural process. Every chemical element has its radioactive isotopes (variations of an element with different neutron numbers in their atomic cores) appearing around, again, naturally. Human bodies are adapted to such everyday radioactivity levels that are safe for us.
A dose is the measure of radiation “absorbed” by the body. The most important one here is the effective dose, calculating the amount of emission, its type and biological impact on living organisms. That dose is exactly what our dosimeters will measure during your Chernobyl tour.
The effective dose measure is μSv (micro Sievert). Dosimeters we use show the real radiation level in μSv per hour and automatically show the overall dose gained since the moment it gets turned on. One day of the Chernobyl tour will cause it to show not more than 3-4 μSv of gamma ray emission.
It is important to understand the phrase “getting a radiation dose” correctly. The average radiation level for all of its sources around the world is about 8 μSv per day. There exist numerous places on the planet with their radiation levels much higher than that of Chernobyl. The Guarapari Beach (Brazil) is a place where radiation levels can be 100 and more times higher than that of the Zone. That’s an absolute record.
In addition to natural radiation sources, there are many anthropogenic ones influencing everyone. Medical procedures like tomography, or one of the most harmful habits, smoking. When traveling by plane, space radiation also affects humans.
As you can see, there are many other radiation sources and places around the world people do not treat as seriously as Chernobyl, though levels are higher there. In any case, our specialists guarantee that your Chernobyl tour will be among the safest journeys you ever had in life.