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Chernobyl to House Giant Solar Power Plant, Revitalize Potential

Jan 17, 2017 09:36 AM EST

Everybody is well aware that the nuclear accident in Chernobyl is the worst nuclear accident in modern history. It directly caused the deaths of 50 people, with an additional 4,000 fatalities that were caused by exposure to radiation.

This all occurred in 1986 at the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine. This also resulted in a lot of land to be contaminated by the nuclear fallout within a 30-kilometer exclusion zone. 

However, according to China Daily, two companies from China plan to build a one-gigawatt solar power plant from the 2,500-hectare of land within the exclusion zone to the south of the planet.

Officials from Ukraine said the companies estimate they will be spend up to $1 billion on the project for the next two years.

A subsidiary of the Golden Concord Holdings (GLC), one of China's biggest renewable energy concerns, will be supplying and installing solar panels at the site. While a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Machinery Corporation (Sinomach) will build and run the plant.

In a report from The Guardian, Ostap Semerak, Ukraine's minister of environment and natural resources, said the Chernobyl area is cheap land with abundant sunlight, which constitute a solid foundation for the project.

In addition, the remaining electric transmission facilities are ready for reuse. In a press release, the GLC stated that work on the solar plant may more or less start this year.

Shu Hua, chair of the GLC subsidiary, said there will be remarkable social benefits and economic advantages by the time they renovate the damaged area with green energy.

Radiation that escaped as a result of the explosion reached as far away as the mountain and hills of Wales in the U.K. A substantial portion of the dust released also fell on farmlands in Belarus, north of Ukraine.

Up until now, the exclusion zone including Pripyat, has been out of bounds for most people. Only limited farming activity is permitted on the lands that are still regarded as contaminated.

A lot of former residents of the area are allowed back only once or twice a year for visits, especially to their old homes or to tend the graves of their relatives. Although a lot of tourists are now seen touring the land.

Still, this proves that there is renewed interest in Chernobyl due to recent major engineering work at the plant. Ecologists also said the exclusion zone has an abundance of wildlife, with substantial populations of elk, deer, wild boar and wolves. 

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