Image Source: Kidofspeed Ghost Town Chernobyl Pictures. [Addendum (2016): Kidofspeed Website was later accused of faking photos of Chernobyl.]
CNN is reporting that Ukraine is lifting general tourism restrictions to Chernobyl in 2011. Full report here: "But most radioactive material has sunk into the soil, and visitors receive a dose comparable to the exposure they would receive on a trans-Atlantic flight." So much for the haunting images immortalized by the blogger Kidofspeed, one of the few people previously to regularly explore the restricted area and who posted her photos of the degraded, abandoned site on the Web. Her famous Chernobyl blog is here.
From that blog: "Radiation will stay in the Chernobyl area for the next 48.000 years, but humans may begin repopulating the area in about 600 years - give or take three centuries. The experts predict that, by then, the most dangerous elements will have disappeared - or been sufficiently diluted into the rest of the world's air, soil and water. If our government can somehow find the money and political will power to finance the necessary scientific research, perhaps a way will be discovered to neutralize or clean up the contamination sooner. Otherwise, our distant ancestors will have to wait untill the radiation diminishes to a tolerable level. If we use the lowest scientific estimate, that will be 300 years from now......some scientists say it may be as long as 900 years. I think it will be 300, but people often accuse me of being an optimist."
Image Source: Kidofspeed Ghost Town Chernobyl Pictures.
Caption for the above photo: "As I pass through the check point, I feel that I have entered an unreal world. In the dead zone, the silence of the villages, roads, and woods seem to tell something at me....something that I strain to hear....something that attracts and repels me both at the same time. It is divinely eerie - like stepping into that Salvador Dali painting with the dripping clocks."
Addendum: JenX67 has covered this story with more pictures here and she refers to Timm Suess's photo journal of Chernobyl from March 2009 here. His Chernobyl videos posted on Youtube are below.
Road to Chernobyl. Video Source: Youtube.
Red Forest and Lenin Square. Video Source: Youtube.
Central Buildings and Amusement Park. Video Source: Youtube.
Small Contamination Control - Checking radiation levels, hoping for the green light. Video Source: Youtube.
Pripyat Hospital. Video Source: Youtube.
Pripyat School Number One. Video Source: Youtube.
Pripyat Port and Theatre. Video Source: Youtube.
Final Contamination Control. Video Source: Youtube.