A few months back, we revealed the Ukrainian government’s plans to convert the ghost town of Chernobyl into a massive solar farm. China, it seems, has come forward to assist the country on the project. According to sources, two Chinese energy developers are gearing up to erect a new solar power plant within the perimeters of the 2,600-sq-km, radioactive exclusion zone. Speaking about the initiative, Shu Hua of GCL System Integration Technology (GCL-SI) said:
There will be remarkable social benefits and economic ones as we try to renovate the once damaged area with green and renewable energy.
Situated around 100 km (or 62 mi) from the capital Kiev, the city of Pripyat housed the once-thriving Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. In April of 1986, an explosion in one of the reactors lead to the worst nuclear disaster in the history of mankind, until the more recent Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan. The area, which has since been declared uninhabitable, is still highly contaminated, with reports showing that the milk produced on the outskirts of the exclusion zone still contains nearly 10 times the accepted amount of radiation.
The latest project is an attempt to put the deserted land to some use, while also reducing Ukraine’s dependence on Russia for energy. GCL-SI, the sources revealed, is one of the two firms currently working on the project. One of the first things that the team will do next year is cover the still-highly-radioactive reactor with a $1.6 billion steel arch. This will in turn ensure that the region is relatively safe for workers as well as construction laborers. A member of the group added:
Ukraine has passed a law allowing the site to be developed for agriculture and other things, so that means (the radiation) is under control.
The Chinese energy developers will be responsible for constructing the solar power plant, making sure that the radioactive contamination remains contained within the 1,000-sq-mi exclusion zone. Not much has been revealed about how and where the solar farm will be built, or even how long it will take for the facility to be operational.