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Chernobyl's Transformation Into a Massive Solar Plant Is Almost Complete
Science Alert ^ | 01/15/2018 | DAVID NIELD

Posted on 01/15/2018 6:37:43 AM PST by SeekAndFind

At the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, work is almost finished on a huge new solar plant that's set to provide one megawatt of renewable power for the local electricity grid.

The new plant sits just a hundred metres (328 feet) from the Object Shelter, nicknamed the "sarcophagus", a sealed metal dome designed to prevent further radiation leakage from the remains of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

The blast that occurred on 26 April 1986 remains one of two most disastrous nuclear accidents in history alongside Fukushima, but the installation of these solar panels offers hope that the site can now be used to help rather than harm the planet.

"This solar power plant can cover the needs of a medium-sized village," Yevgen Varyagin, boss of the Solar Chernobyl running the project, told AFP. That's the equivalent of about 2,000 homes, and eventually the region as a whole could produce 100 times that.

The soil in the area remains heavily contaminated, and Ukrainian authorities have said it would take more than 24,000 years before people could safely return to live there, but the new plant shows that this vast area of sealed-off land can be put to good use.

And it's partly possible thanks to the Shelter Object – installed in late 2016 to replace the ageing concrete shield originally put in place, it reduced the radiation near the plant to one-tenth of its previous level.

The new solar plant covers some 16,000 square metres (3.95 acres) and is fitted with 3,800 photovoltaic panels to convert sunlight into electricity.

That's not to say there aren't still a lot of problems with the site. As one precaution, the solar panels are fixed to concrete slabs rather than being put in the ground - drilling and digging is still strictly prohibited.

But there are now some 25 square kilometres (6,178 acres) that have been made available by the Ukrainian government for solar power developments, with 60 proposals currently being considered by the authorities.

Solar Chernobyl and several partners also recently completed a 4.2-megawatt solar power plant in nearby Belarus, which still falls in the irradiated zone. Another advantage of the site is that it's already connected up to the grid because of the nuclear power station, which continued to operate in some form until the year 2000.

The original blast in 1986 happened when Chernobyl was part of the USSR, and was caused by a reactor failure. It led to the largest ever uncontrolled radioactive release into the atmosphere, and within three months had directly claimed 31 lives. The area that was eventually contaminated covered millions of people.

After a lengthy evacuations and clean up process, the region is gradually becoming useful again more than 30 years later. Let's hope the modern-day Chernobyl can soon become known for solar power rather than nuclear disaster.

"Bit by bit we want to optimise the Chernobyl zone," Varyagin told Anna Hirtenstein at Bloomberg last year. "It shouldn't be a black hole in the middle of Ukraine."


TOPICS: Science; Society
KEYWORDS: chernobyl; globalwarminghoax; nuclear; solar; solarchernobyl; sovietsuccessstory; ukraine; yevgenvaryagin


1 posted on 01/15/2018 6:37:43 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

One megawatt? Pfffft. Fart in the wind.


2 posted on 01/15/2018 6:47:24 AM PST by DariusBane (Liberty and Risk. Flip sides of the same coin. So how much risk will YOU accept? Vive Deo et Vives)
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To: DariusBane

It moonlights as a lunar power generator...


3 posted on 01/15/2018 6:48:50 AM PST by null and void ( The Martians fought global warming, all the plants died and the surface water froze solid....)
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To: null and void

Is lunar power listed on the New York Stock Exchange?


4 posted on 01/15/2018 7:04:34 AM PST by ptsal ( Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please. - M. Twain)
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To: SeekAndFind

Maintenance workers wanted.


5 posted on 01/15/2018 7:06:14 AM PST by fella ("As it was before Noah so shall it be again,")
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To: SeekAndFind

Chernobyl bookmark


6 posted on 01/15/2018 7:09:07 AM PST by ptsal ( Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please. - M. Twain)
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To: All

Silly PR BS. One megawatt, please. Constant maintenance, ridiculous.


7 posted on 01/15/2018 7:09:36 AM PST by gibsonguy
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To: DariusBane

It’s a lie anyway. This stuff is CGI.


8 posted on 01/15/2018 7:17:58 AM PST by Celerity
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To: DariusBane

The average home uses well over a kilowatt, so this system will supply AT MOST 800-1000 homes, not the 2000+ claimed in the article.

More lies and propaganda. Quelle surprise!


9 posted on 01/15/2018 7:23:16 AM PST by Don W (When blacks riot, neighbourhoods and cities burn. When whites riot, nations and continents burn.)
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To: Don W

One megawatt needs to go down the wire. Won’t even be one megawatt after it gets on the grid.


10 posted on 01/15/2018 7:28:10 AM PST by DariusBane (Liberty and Risk. Flip sides of the same coin. So how much risk will YOU accept? Vive Deo et Vives)
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To: SeekAndFind
I saw an interesting story about Chernobyl and the nearby town of Pripiyat on one of the science channels the other day. Something I never realized. There are actually over 200 full time residents. People who didn't want to leave their homes and hid out and avoided the Soviet evacuation or snuck back in shortly after. Most are elderly today (but in surprisingly good health). After trying to get rid of them for years, Ukraine eventually just gave up and told them they could stay if they signed a release basically saying the government is not responsible for them and they remain at their own risk. They even have their own small store/gas station and power from a diesel generator they keep running, and they make money by giving tours to various groups that are allowed in.
11 posted on 01/15/2018 7:36:08 AM PST by apillar
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To: SeekAndFind

OH I love nuclear power now that I know that without it the Solar Farm would have never been built.


12 posted on 01/15/2018 8:47:44 AM PST by Revel
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To: DariusBane

Chernobyl put out 1 megawatt when it was fully shutdown. Talk gigawats, and maybe there’s a story there.

Anyway, the weather sucks there and they won’t get much sun on the few panels they have.


13 posted on 01/15/2018 1:39:00 PM PST by BobL (I used to own a truck - but I couldn't handle the lifestyle)
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To: SeekAndFind

“Massive solar plant”

I do think the choice of words for the headline is INTENTIONAL BRAINWASHING of the masses. The author CLEARLY has to know that replacing a plant that supplied something like 25% of The Ukraine’s power with some panels that will power 2000 homes (at most) on a sunny day is NOT a ‘massive’ solar plant...but most readers won’t pick up on that, and they will think a few thousands solar panels can do the work of a 6 GW generating station - even though the difference is measured in orders of magnitude.


14 posted on 01/15/2018 1:43:15 PM PST by BobL (I used to own a truck - but I couldn't handle the lifestyle)
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To: BobL

I piss one megawatt before breakfast.

Fart in the eind.


15 posted on 01/15/2018 2:01:05 PM PST by DariusBane (Liberty and Risk. Flip sides of the same coin. So how much risk will YOU accept? Vive Deo et Vives)
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