Backpacking in Ukraine: Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Tour Part 9 – Radiation Checks and Escape from the CEZ

“It’s a radiation vibe I’m groovin on” – Fountains of Wayne.

Backpacking in Ukraine: Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Tour Part 9 - Radiation Checks and Escape from the CEZ

Backpacking in Ukraine: Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Tour Part 9 – Radiation Checks and Escape from the CEZ

It had been a truly incredible day of travel and to a place with a sad history – the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. It’s a day I’ll remember for a long time, but after this final part of the story, it’s time to close the chapter on it and not to dwell. This is a restricted area which on its furthest dark days of reach scaled three countries (Ukraine, Belarus and Russia), though realistically it is housed within modern day Ukraine and the area that surrounds the infamous Reactor Number 4. A permit was required to enter and the day tour of the CEZ with our guide Misha was a poignant one. But after having a late lunch in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, it was time to head back to normality – we drove back to Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine.

Backpacking in Ukraine: Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Tour Part 9 - Radiation Checks and Escape from the CEZ

Backpacking in Ukraine: Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Tour Part 9 – Radiation Checks and Escape from the CEZ

Leaving the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
On the way back of course, we had another “border” to cross. We had to pass back out of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and into the normal part of the Ukraine, which any tourist visa covers. But on route, a reminder of where we are. We are in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and even 29 years on, there were still radiation risks (I was here in December 2015) so you have three Radiation Scans and checks on the way out.

Leaving the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Leaving the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

1.Radiation Scan near Reactor Number 4, Chernobyl Restaurant
At the restaurant where we had lunch, we do our first radiation scan. You step onto the device and put your hands on the side. If the light goes from red to green, you are fine.

Radiation checking device

Radiation checking device

You don’t have high radiation levels. All of us pass through the first scan successfully. There was our driver and guide Misha and my fellow backpackers Martin and Brett.

Passing the radiation check (yes I've tried turning the photo round!)

Passing the radiation check (yes I’ve tried turning the photo round!)

2.Radiation Scan near Chernobyl Town
As we exit the actual Chernobyl Town itself, there is another radiation check. I mentioned before that the CEZ only gets around 35 tourists a day maximum, so there are no queues to get out. Every single person has to go through these radiation scans of course.

Radiation checks in Chernobyl Town

Radiation checks in Chernobyl Town

We all pass through the second scan successfully too!

3.Radiation Scan at Dityatki Checkpoint
The last and final radiation scan checkpoint occurs at Dityatki, which is the checkpoint at the entrance to the CEZ. Without further ado, all four of us pass through it successfully!

Radiation scan room at Dityatki

Radiation scan room at Dityatki

Final radiation check in Dityatki

Final radiation check in Dityatki

After that we were back out into the free and fresh Ukraine air and we headed back to Kiev, where I stayed in the Tiu Kreschatik Hostel.

Driving back to Kiev from the CEZ

Driving back to Kiev from the CEZ

It was nightfall when we arrived in Kiev

It was nightfall when we arrived in Kiev

To book your excellent Chernobyl Tour, get in touch with the guys at Solo East:

First and Original Chernobyl Tour company – http://www.tourkiev.com/
#10, Prorizna St., office 105,
Kiev, 01001, Ukraine

Mon-Fri: 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
Please pay attention to the time
difference when calling from abroad.

Kiev, Ukraine office: +380-44-279-3505
Cell : +380-50305-0857
US-Canada (toll free): 1-800-893-3153 (9a.m.-7p.m.CT)
These dudes promise they will reply your email within six hours! soloeast@me.com

Over to the Fountains of Wayne:

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About Jonny Blair

I'm Jonny Blair, a travelling Northern Irishman. Since leaving my hometown a decade ago I have managed to visit over 100 countries and over 600 towns or cities across all 7 continents. Along the way I have worked in countless jobs! Join my journey on Don't Stop Living - a lifestyle of travel as I provide you with tips and inspiration to live your travel dreams! Safe travels! Follow me on Jonny Blair Google Plus
This entry was posted in Central Asia/Middle East, Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, Chernobyl Town, Europe, kiev, Kiev, Ukraine, Ukraine. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Backpacking in Ukraine: Chernobyl Exclusion Zone Tour Part 9 – Radiation Checks and Escape from the CEZ

  1. I can certainly understand all the safety check points. I recently saw a Top Gear re-run of them visiting Chernobyl and the geiger counter was virtually going off the scale. Such a sorry story that this place is unhabitable for so many hundreds of years all due to one accident.
    The Guy Who Flies recently posted…Applying For An Irish Passport And Why I DidMy Profile

  2. Jim says:

    Jonny writes that “We are in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and even 29 years on, there were still radiation risks (I was here in December 2015) so you have three Radiation Scans and checks on the way out.”

    Significant radiation risks are going to be around for hundreds of years because that material is extremely toxic, and the frequent radiation scans are there mostly to quiet potential fears of the public and to give them the impression that the Russian government is actually seriously concerned with people’s well-being.

    The undisclosed reality is that the general public is totally clueless that all the big nations dedicated to nuclear power, medical radiation, and militarism using radioactive weaponry, such as Japan, France, Russia, and the US, have for decades been claiming (=lying) that low dose radiation is virtually harmless and that their nuclear facilites or medical xrays are safe and of minimal risks to humans, all the while they’ve been carefully hiding or obfuscating the truth about the real scope of danger and harm of ionizing radiation (discussed and referenced substantially in “The Mammogram Myth” by Rolf Hefti) to avoid culpability and to keep the general public deeply misinformed about the actual reality.

    The ultimate aim of all the official propaganda is to discredit and suppress the facts that the lowest possible dose of ionizing radiation is carcinogenic (the pawns of the corporate environment-polluting industries do the same sort of thing about toxicants) and that these corrupt industries are responsible for the death of millions of people.

    The public at large is generally unaware about most of this because the cartel’s dominant disinformation tool is the mainstream media. And their propaganda dissemination is ongoing, keeping the general public hypnotized with a made-up fake reality.

    The racket is profound and systematic. You can see that “in action” in how the corporate press and the mainstream authorities have blacked out what’s really going on at Fukushima, or 9/11 (watch, on youtube, etc, the free online film “September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor”), etc.

  3. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi The Guy thanks for the comment and safe travels. Jonny

  4. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Jim, that is a hell of a lot of information to take in there mate – thanks for the update! Safe travels, Jonny

  5. Ray says:

    Thanks again for sharing your CEZ story with us! Although I have seen some travel documentaries on Chernobyl over the past few years or so, your blog spots really give me a much deeper understanding of how bad this situation really was. This is largely in part due to your detailed descriptions and your refusal to only show the “best of the best” of your travel pics here. Once again, thank you!

  6. Jonny Blair says:

    Hi Ray, thanks for the comment. Yes I watched some extra documentaries (when I had fast internet) just after doing the tours. I wanted to do justice to the tour so I condensed each section into a post of its own – I prefer writing like that as I did for the DMZ tour. Will have a load more of this type of thing to come as well as I reflect on years of travel which I never wrote about. Safe travels. Jonny

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