35 years since Chernobyl's nuclear meltdown

It's been 35 years since Ukraine's Chernobyl nuclear disaster

It became the world's worst nuclear accident

after a reactor exploded during a botched safety test

Clouds of radiation spread across much of Europe

and tens of thousands of people were forced to evacuate

Commemorations marked those who died and suffered long-term illness

Location: Slavutych

The site has become one of the country's major tourist destinations

(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) PILOT AND TOUR GUIDE, YEVHEN NECHYPORENKO, SAYING:"It triggers emotions every time. Such sites are interesting. I would even call them spiritual, exceptional. Those people who know about the plant would say the same. It attracts people like a magnet. Also by looking at these places from above, you imagine yourself there. It is very interesting to look into every detail of the area, into what is happening there, what changes took place around the plant and in the town, how nature is developing and taking over."

Ukraine wants to turn the power station into a UNESCO World Heritage site

(SOUNDBITE) (English) UKRAINIAN CULTURE MINISTER, OLEKSANDR TKACHENKO, SAYING:"The importance of the Chernobyl zone lays far beyond Ukraine's borders. First of all, because it is not only about commemoration, but it is also about history about rights of people."