Chernobyl Goes Solar
It was the site of the worst nuclear accident in history, but now Chernobyl in Ukraine is producing energy again – this time with no threat to the environment.
A one-megawatt solar energy facility has begun operating just 100 metres from the ruins of the damaged reactor. Its 3800 photovoltaic panels can generate enough electricity to power a small town.
Back in 1986, the reactor’s meltdown produced a radioactive cloud that spread over much of Europe. Around 115,000 people were evacuated from a 2600-square-kilometre zone around the site. But now new life is being breathed into the region.
“We want to optimise the Chernobyl zone,” says Yevgen Varyagin, head of Solar Chernobyl. “It shouldn’t be a black hole in the middle of Ukraine.”