Ukraine has plans to repurpose Chernobyl, the site of the world’s most well-known nuclear disaster, into a wind farm that can generate power once again. Despite the radiation contamination that forced its abandonment in 1986, the government is now looking to transform Chernobyl into a one-gigawatt wind farm, which would be one of the largest in Europe.
At full capacity, the wind farm could power up to 800,000 homes in nearby Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. However, there are still concerns about the safety of workers spending time in the radiated zone as there is still radioactive material in the atmosphere at tolerable levels. Last year, Russian soldiers reportedly experienced radiation sickness after digging into the dirt near the power plant when they seized Chernobyl during their invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainian government and Notus Energy, a German company involved in the project, are still evaluating how to move forward safely.
Despite these concerns, Chernobyl offers several benefits for the wind farm project. The area already has a lot of power plant infrastructure in place and no residents will be displaced as radiation zones are essentially ghost towns. Moreover, rehabilitating Chernobyl into a modern power plant that produces clean and renewable energy has symbolic significance and provides climate-friendly energy to Kyiv. Oleksandr Krasnolutskyi, Ukraine’s deputy ecology minister stated that Chernobyl could become a symbol of clean and sustainable energy for future generations. Overall, this project aims to benefit both environmental conservation and provide sustainable energy for Ukraine’s capital city.