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The Zone of Alienation, which is variously referred to as The Chernobyl Zone, The 30 Kilometer Zone, The Exclusion Zone, The Fourth Zone, or simply The Zone is the 30 km/19 mi exclusion zone around the site of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. Geographically, it includes northernmost parts of Kyivs'ka oblast' and Zhytomyrs'ka oblast' of Ukraine, and adjoins the country's border with Belarus. A separately administered Belarusian zone continues across the border. The Zone was established soon after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, in order to evacuate the local population and to prevent people from entering the heavily contaminated territory. The area adjoining the site of the disaster was originally divided into 4 concentric zones. The fourth-most contaminated zone had a radius of 30 km/19 mi from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The border of the zone was later adjusted to better parallel the locations of highest contamination. The territory of the zone is polluted unevenly. Spots of hyperintensive pollution were created first by wind and rain spreading radioactive dust at the time of the accident, and subsequently by numerous burial sites for various material and equipment used in decontamination. Zone authorities pay attention to protecting such spots from tourists, scrap hunters and wildfires, but admit that some dangerous burial sites remain unmapped and known only by recollections of the liquidators. The zone is controlled by the Administration of the Alienation Zone within Ukraine's Ministry of Emergencies and Affairs of Population Protection from Consequences of Chernobyl Catastrophe. The territory of the zone is policed by special units of the MVS and (along the border line) the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. It is partly excluded from the regular civil rule. Approximately 3,000 workers are employed within the Zone of Alienation. Employees technically do not live inside the zone, but work shifts. 75% of the workers work 4-3 shifts (four days on, three off) and 25% work 15 days on, 15 off, as of 2009. The duration of shifts is strictly counted regarding the person's pension and healthcare issues. Everyone employed within the zone is monitored for internal bioaccumulation of radioactive elements. Any residential, civil or business activities in the zone are legally prohibited and punishable. The only officially recognized exception is the functioning of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and scientific installations related to the studies of nuclear safety. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]
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