When you hear the term Chernobyl, what comes to your mind? Most people associate Chernobyl with devastation, death, and destruction. And this reputation is well deserved. Since the nuclear accident that took place on April 26, 1986 left Chernobyl and the surrounding area desolate, people have stayed as far away from this area as possible. The area surrounding Chernobyl is nothing but a ghost town.
The immense scale of destruction caused by the Chernobyl explosion can be better understood when you think about the fact that there is a 1000 mi.² area around Chernobyl that is forbidden for humans to live in. The effect of this devastation is also seen in the fact that 50 people died immediately after the blast, and more than 4,000 people died in subsequent years as a result of their exposure to the radiation. For a long time, it was thought that this 1000 mi.² swatch of land was going to be desolate for centuries to come.
Recently, though, some innovative Ukrainian and Chinese scientists and businessmen are considering turning the desolated Chernobyl area into the world’s largest solar farm. What’s unique about the area around Chernobyl is that there is a lot of sunshine. This is essential for a solar farm to work.
During the initial phase of the project, more than 3,500 solar panels will be set up. These 3,500 solar panels will be able to generate energy that is the equivalent of one third of the energy created by the Chernobyl power plant when it was working. The idea is to have this initial phase completed sometime in 2018.
This solar farm has the potential to have a positive impact on communities that were affected by the Chernobyl blast. Many in these communities already have experience working in power plants, and the facility itself already has the power lines to transmit the energy throughout the surrounding area.