General News

Chernobyl Diaries producer scrapped expedition to deserted nuclear town

By:
May 29, 2012 | 4:00am EDT

Chernobyl Diaries producer Oren Peli pulled the plug on plans for an expedition to the Russian town where the new horror movie is set after consulting with nuclear experts.

After learning that Pripyat has become an underground extreme vacation destination for thrill-seekers keen on getting a close look at the town left deserted after the nearby nuclear reactor disaster, the filmmaker and his crew considered a trip.

But a last-minute chat with a Russian scientist made Peli reconsider.

He tells WENN, "I never knew there was this town next to it that was evacuated overnight. The people didn't even have a chance to take their personal belongings, and now 25 years later the radiation levels have gone down enough that if you know where to go and as part of a guided tour, in theory you can visit for a short period of time.

"If you go on You Tube for Pripyat you can see tons of videos of people who went there and took videos and photo blogs. It may not be for everybody, but a lot of people did go there. If you are going with an official licensed tour guide they would have a Geiger counter to make sure you are not going into an area where the radiation level is high.

"But one thing we were actually told by a nuclear scientist that we consulted with is you could be in an area where the radiation level on the Geiger counter was fine but there could be dust particles on the ground that are contaminated with radiation you can pick up as you're walking.

"If you end up inhaling one of them and it gets enlarged in your lungs, that's bad. Before I talked to this nuclear scientist we were all gung-ho about going but after hearing that we thought, 'Hmm, maybe that's not the best idea!'"

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