Chernobyl begins new life as solar power park

32 years ago, on April 26, 1986, the world witnessed the greatest nuclear accident ever known when Reactor Number Four exploded.

The disaster released a massive amount of radioactive material into the environment affecting its surrounding places, contaminating up to three quarters of Europe, hitting Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

 This led Soviet Authorities to evacuate over hundreds and thousands of people living in a vast territory of 2,000 square kilometers that was later on left abandoned. Other reactors were slowly being shut down.

 The last one closed on the year 2000 which officially ended the industrial activity in the area. Ukrainian authorities said that humans can’t live in the area for another 24,000 years.

However, Solar Chernobyl, a Ukrainian-German company launched a park of photovoltaic (PV) panels that costs $1.2 million. During the launching, Yevgen Varyagin, the head of Solar Chernobyl, stated, "Today we are connecting the station to the power system of Ukraine".

The park is located at a distance of 100 meters (yards) from a giant metal dome that seals whatever was left of the nuclear plant which suffered a meltdown. The facility is installed in a 1.6 hectares (4 acres) area, all of which is enough to power about 2,000 households.

They envision producing over 100 megawatts at the site of nearly 2,500 hectares which was offered by Ukrainian authorities for solar panels construction. The land was sold at a cheap price and although it cannot be used for farming, the land offers connection to the power grid.

 The solar power plant will definitely offer a new chance on life to the contaminated site and more than that, it offers to diversify Ukraine’s power sources that is not only efficient but contributes to help solve the current issue on climate change as well.

 According to experts, the price for which Ukraine buys the solar power exceeds the European average by 50% making it appealing to foreign investors.

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