The control room at Chernobyl will open to tourists more than 30 years after the disaster – despite it still having 40,000 times the normal levels of radiation.

Visitors wearing protective suits and masks will be able to look around the Unit 4 control room in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant where the disaster began.

Rare and apocalyptic images reveal the decaying room where in 1986 the plant’s staff made a series of fatal errors then lost the battle trying to prevent the disaster.

Aleksandr Novikov, the head deputy of the Chernobyl plant’s technical director said: ‘Leonid Toptunov who was on duty that night was my friend.