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Doomed: Chernobyl to become ‘official tourist attraction’…

The area surrounding Chernobyl – the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident – is to be turned into a tourist site, Ukraine’s president says.

President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree on Wednesday that set out plans for new walking trails and enhanced mobile phone reception.

“Chernobyl has been a negative part of Ukraine’s brand,” Mr Zelensky said. “The time has come to change this.”

A reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power station exploded in April 1986.

It sent a radioactive plume across Europe and, according to the UN, nearly 50,000 square kilometres of land were contaminated.

At least 31 people were killed in the immediate aftermath and the effects of the explosion continue to be felt to this day.

“We will create a green corridor for tourists,” Mr Zelensky said on Wednesday. “Chernobyl is a unique place on the planet where nature [has been] reborn after a huge man-made disaster.”

“We have to show this place to the world: to scientists, ecologists, historians [and] tourists,” the president added.

Despite the radiation levels being higher than normal, thousands of tourists already take the trip to Chernobyl every year.

The new decree outlined plans for waterways and checkpoints in the area. It also revealed that restrictions on filming the site would be lifted.