Chernobyl wasteland could go solar

The Chernobyl exclusion zone could be turned into the world’s largest solar farm. According to the Ukrainian government, the cheap, uninhabited space surrounding the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The Chernobyl exclusion zone could be turned into the world’s largest solar farm.

According to the Ukrainian government, the cheap, uninhabited space surrounding the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear meltdown is well suited to such a project.

Ukraine’s Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, Ostap Semerak, said: “The Chernobyl site has really good potential for renewable energy. We already have high-voltage transmission lines that were previously used for the nuclear stations, the land is very cheap and we have many people trained to work at power plants.”

The power generated across the 1,000 square mile site would be around 1GW from solar and 400MW from other renewable sources. The old nuclear reactor used to generate 4GW.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has said it “may consider participating in the project so long as there are viable investment proposals and all other environmental matters and risks can be addressed to the bank’s satisfaction”.

It still remains unclear how the project would be built and operated in an area that isn’t safe to venture into without protection.