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The Exclusion Zone

The Chernobyl exclusion zone was established shortly after the 1986 nuclear disaster, closing off areas declared unfit for human occupation. To this day, the zone is restricted from the general public. While the original zone was about a 2900 square-kilometer/1100 square-mile radius area surrounding the plant, the borders of the zone have since been adjusted to better reflect the geographical points that show the heaviest contamination levels. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and the republics of Belarus and Ukraine declared independence, the zone was divided in two, with each country monitoring the section that falls within its border.