The World’s Hottest New Vacation Destination

And by hottest, I mean radioactive hot. Forget the suntan lotion, bring a dosimeter.

Kiev Sees Chernobyl as Tourist Hot Spot

Ukraine’s government wants to turn Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident, into a tourism hotspot.

Ukraine’s Emergency Situations Ministry said Monday it is working on a plan to open the area around the defunct plant—where a reactor exploded on April 26, 1986, spreading radiation across the then-Soviet states of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia—to visitors starting next month.

The ministry said radiation levels in certain parts of the so-called exclusion zone, which stretches 30 kilometers (19 miles) around the exploded reactor, were now returning to normal levels. Visitors will be able to take in views of the nuclear plant, as well as towns and villages that were abandoned in the disaster’s aftermath.

New official tour operators would have to meet strict criteria to be allowed to operate, said Yulia Yurshova, a spokesperson for the Emergency Situations Ministry, as straying from the route can be dangerous because of the threat of collapsing buildings and varying radiation levels.

“The Chernobyl zone isn’t as scary as the whole world thinks,” said Ms. Yurshova. “We want to work with big tour operators and attract Western tourists, from whom there’s great demand.”

See also:
Chernobyl: now open to tourists
Holiday in Chernobyl: Ukraine to lift restrictions on disaster site
Ukraine plans to open Chernobyl, site of massive nuclear disaster, open to tourists in 2011
Chernobyl to be ‘extreme’ tourism site
Ukraine to open Chernobyl zone to tourists
Tourists invited to holiday in Chernobyl
Chernobyl as tourist attraction
Ukraine’s newest tourist destination: Chernobyl
Chernobyl Accident
Chernobyl disaster

What’s not to like? There’s plenty of abandoned buildings and desolate landscape to see. It’s fun for the whole family, bring the kids! The souvenir shop is to die for.

/it’s bad enough that they’re going to let tourists into the exclusion zone to dose up on radiation, but just think of the poor tour guides that will have to go back in day after day to make a living

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Rust Ever Seeps

Damn, that’s a [expletive deleted]load of sludge. Three days later and it’s still spreading?

Explainer: Hungary’s toxic sludge torrent

A tide of toxic red mud burst through the walls of a giant storage reservoir at the Ajkai Timfoldgyar alumina refinery on the outskirts of Akja, a small town in the county of Veszprem, Hungary on Monday, October 4.

So far, four people are known to have been killed by the torrent, six people are missing and more than 120 people have been injured by the sludge which inundated the villages of Kolontar, Devecser and Somlovasarhely, around 150 kilometers southwest of the capital, Budapest.

According to Zoltan Illes, Hungary’s Environmental Affairs State Secretary, around one million cubic meters of sludge has leaked from the reservoir covering over 40 square kilometers of land.

Illes described the flood as Hungary’s worst chemical accident and an “ecological catastrophe.”

. . .

According to MAL Magyar Aluminum — owners of the Ajkai refinery — the majority (around 45 percent) of the sludge in the spill contains iron oxide (hence its rusty red color). It also contains aluminum oxide, silicon dioxide, calcium dioxide, titanium oxide and oxygen-bonded sodium oxide.

People coming into contact with the sludge have suffered burns because the sludge has a high pH (alkali) content and can, if breathed in as dust, cause damage to the lungs.

See also:
Hungary’s toxic sludge reminiscent of 2000 Romania disaster – but much worse
Hungary Continues to Battle Its Toxic Flood
Hungary’s Toxic Red Sludge Reaches Danube River
Toxic Sludge From Hungary Spill Hits Danube
In pictures: Hungary’s toxic disaster
Hungarian waste pond was on list of risky sites
Sludge flood like Hungary’s unlikely in US
Officials worry sludge will be harder to dilute
Will Hungary’s toxic red sludge spill extend beyond Danube?
MAL Magyar Alumínium

Gee, you’d think they wouldn’t collect all that toxic waste in one place. The massive reservoir is obviously a relic from the days of the Soviet Union and everybody knows the Soviets were big on protecting the environment and never cut corners.

/poor Hungarians, sucks to be them right now, but this disaster was decades in the making, they should have done something about the obvious potential problem a long time ago

Oh Boy, Look What Israel Found

Um, after the last war in 2006, wasn’t the United Nations supposed to prevent Hezbollah from rearming again?

Israel publishes ‘proof’ of growing Hizbullah arsenal

ISRAEL HAS published detailed intelligence information that military chiefs say is proof of a massive build-up of Hizbullah firepower deep inside the Lebanese villages close to Israel’s northern border.

Israel says that UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which ended the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war and banned the transfer of rockets and weapons to Hizbullah has been largely ineffective. Israeli intelligence says the Shia group now has an arsenal of more than 40,000 rockets supplied via Syria and Iran and thousands of fighters deployed along the border.

As an example, Israeli intelligence officials showed reporters maps and aerial surveillance images showing specific buildings in the village of Al-Hiyam that Israel says are being used as military facilities for weapons and missiles.

Col Ronen Marley revealed previously classified photographs to show what he said was a unit of 90 Hizbullah militants operating in Al-Hiyam, where they were storing weapons close to hospitals and schools.

“Hizbullah is establishing itself with increasing strength in the villages,” said Col Marley.

“Every day they are collecting significant intelligence on our forces along the border and every day they are engaged in digging, building and laying communications infrastructure to prepare themselves for war.

Lieut Col Avital Leibovitch, an Israeli military spokesperson said: “We are talking about more than 100 villages that have become military camps for Hizbullah and we see that civilians in these villages have become Hizbullah’s human shields if there is war in the future.”

See also:
Hezbollah Uses Lebanese Villages as Military Bases
IDF Releases Map of Hizbullah Targets
MESS Report / Israel exposes valuable intelligence to warn Hezbollah
Hezbollah readying for urban war in southern Lebanon, IDF warns
Israel Says Hezbollah Moves Missiles Near Border
Tension Rise as Israel and Hezbollah Trade Threats
IDF reveals Hezbollah’s deployment
ISRAEL: Army declassifies intelligence material showing Hezbollah’s tactics
Israel Claims Hezbollah Storing Weapons in Lebanese Villages
Israel Takes Intelligence Gamble on Hezbollah
Israel images ‘show Hezbollah hiding arms’
Israel says images show Hezbollah’s intentions
U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701

Here we go, it’s deja vu all over again, Iran and Syria have rearmed Hezbollah, to the teeth, right under the noses of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL, the U.N. forces mandated with disarming Hezbollah. How’s that working out? UNIFIL is as useful as a third teat on a boar.

/Israel will, once again, have to deal with the Hezbollah threat by herself and then the United Nations will spring into action and do what they do best, condemn Israel for defending herself