The Chernobyl area – officially named Chernobyl Exclusion Zone – is a part of north Ukraine. It consists of 95 villages and 3 towns on a territory of 2044 square kilometers. Today Chernobyl exclusion zone is different than the one drawn after the accident on April 26, 1986 (originally it was a circle of 30 kilometers around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant). The territory was formed according to measurements of the radiation level of five elements (responsible for over 50% of radiation). This is now the zone of absolute resettlement and is guarded by Ukraine police and security departments. The zone is closed to public and entrance is possible only with special permissions. Tourists need to travel with one of the official tour operators and tourists can walk in the Chernobyl only accompanied by an official guide. The Chernobyl zone is divided into 3 safety zones (according to the level of radiation) – 30 kilometer exclusion zone (lowest level of radiation), 10 kilometer exclusion zone (higher level of radiation) and the Pripyat city zone. There are dosimetric controls on the exits of the zones (except Pripyat).
Towns and villages are left as they were evacuated in April/May of 1986, so there are many artifacts from the Soviet era. Houses are still equipped and left with the personal effects of people evacuated, kindergartens, schools, hospital etc. is left with all equipment and documents from the days shortly before the accident.
There is also another exclusion zone – in the territory of Belarus. This is a larger zone (territory) but with less villages resettled.