Reviving Exclusion Zone: China ready to invest some USD 1 bln in building solar farm near Chornobyl

17:41 Oct. 27, 2016

China ready to invest some USD 1 bln in building solar farm near Chornobyl

A view from Reactor 4 at Chernobyl Nuclear power plant Zone is seen during the 30th anniversary of Chernobyl nuclear disasterin Chernobyl, Ukraine on April 27, 2016 (Getty Images)

Two Chinese companies are interested in a Chornobyl solar project and currently evaluating capabilities of the site

Ukraine is in talks with two Chinese companies to pursue possible investments in building a solar farm near the destroyed Chornobyl nuclear power plant, Xinhua reportedon October 26.

"According to preliminary estimates, the companies are ready to invest more than 1 billion U.S. dollars into the Chernobyl Solar project over the next two years," Ukrainian Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Ostap Semerak wrote on Facebook, referring to the two Chinese companies GCL and China State Construction Engineering Corporation.

The representatives of the two companies are already working in the Chernobyl area to evaluate the technological and infrastructure capabilities of the site, Semerak said.

Ukraine's Chernobyl Solar project, based on the 2,500 hectares of land 10 km south of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, is expected to generate up to 1,500 GWh of electricity per year.

Read also Eastern Europe's first solar tracking power plant opens in Ukraine

The nuclear power plant, located some 130 km from Kyiv, witnessed one of the worst nuclear accidents in human history on April 26, 1986. The disaster has caused irreparable damage to the local environment and public health.

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For decades, the 30-km-radius territory around the plant has been designated as an exclusion zone. Ordinary people have been prohibited from entering it.

As the toxic radiation levels in the area decreased, the Ukrainian government rolled out an initiative to turn the area into an industrial zone.

In June, Semerak said there is a total of 6,000 hectares of land near the Chernobyl power plant that could be used for industrial purposes.

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