Thirty years after the world’s worst nuclear disaster, Chernobyl is about to become a solar farm.
Officials in Ukraine plan to build a solar energy plant at the Chernobyl nuclear site. The announcement comes during the week of the 31st anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
The Chernobyl accident occurred on April 26, 1986. The incident would become the world's worst nuclear accident. 32 people died and dozens of others suffered painful radiation burns.
Until recently, the government of Ukraine has largely ignored the area.
Ostap Semerak is Ukraine’s minister of ecology. He spoke with VOA about the planned solar project.
"Today, almost a year after we have started the work, I can announce the first private investment project working in the Chernobyl zone to build a small solar energy plant.”
Semerak says more than 50 national and international companies have expressed interest in building the solar plant. He adds that when completed, the project will produce about half the power produced by the Chernobyl nuclear plant.
"We have received over 50 applications from companies of various sizes. Cumulatively, those would be enough to produce 2.5 gigawatts of power, which would be 2,500 megawatts. This is comparable to the output by two units of a nuclear power plant. This is about half the capacity which the Chernobyl power plant had before the disaster."
Officials expect to complete the solar plant project in May.
I’m Jonathan Evans.
Oksana Ligostova and Ruslan Deynychencko reported this story for VOA. Jonathan Evans adapted the report for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.
Words in this Story
capacity – n. the amount of something that can be produced or managed by a factory, company, etc.
ecology – n. a science that deals with the relationships between groups of living things and their environments