The reincarnation of Chernobyl

  • Written by  Sophie Hughes
  • Published in Energy
The reincarnation of Chernobyl Dmitry Birin/Shutterstock
23 Nov
2016
Chinese firms plan to build a solar power plant in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl

In the years following the catastrophic nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in 1986, it seemed that the site was destined for decay and abandonment. A concrete and steel arch will soon be implemented to cover the remains of the nuclear reactor, with subsequent plans to safely dismantle the reactor in place. However, a recent announcement by two Chinese firms to build a solar power plant in the exclusion zone around the reactor suggest that there is hope for the ill-fated area to be revived

GCL System Integration Technology (GCL-SI), an international company specialising in clean and sustainable power production, has said it would cooperate with China National Complete Engineering Corp (CCEC) on the project in Ukraine, with construction expected to start in early 2017.

The involvement of the CCEC, a state-affiliated corporation, perhaps raises some issues on the project. Government-operated investment funds can often be guided by the interests of the state rather than those of the business community in which it is investing, leading local Ukrainian companies to raise concerns that the benefit to Ukraine has been exaggerated.

However, the project would undoubtedly act as an economic stimulus through the creation of jobs and subsequent multiplier effects, while also offering seasoned and global perspectives on cleaner energy production. Consequently, there is convincing evidence to be optimistic about this project. China is the world’s biggest solar power generator, producing 43 gigawatts of capacity by the end of 2015. It is also the world’s top manufacturer, producing 72 per cent of global solar power components in 2015, according to research by Everbright Securities. This reinforces the companies’ significant expertise in the construction and management of large solar power plants.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has already appraised the notion, adding that its cheap land and abundant sunlight constitute a solid foundation for the project. In addition, the remaining electric transmission facilities previously used by the nuclear plant are ready for reuse.

Mr Shu Hua, Chairman of GCL-SI, has commented that ‘There will be remarkable social and economic benefits as we try to renovate the once damaged area with green and renewable energy. We are glad that we are making joint efforts with Ukraine to rebuild the community for the local people.’

GCL-SI has an extensive social responsibility agenda, endeavouring to increase the rate of green energy application whilst following local waste emission methods and using environmentally friendly technologies to work towards zero pollution. A company with such a sustainable and green ethos provides an optimistic vision of Chernobyl’s future.

Share this story...

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

Related items

Leave a comment

ONLY registered members can leave comments and each comment is held pending authorisation before publishing. Please login or register to voice your opinion.

Geographical Week

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox every Friday.

Subscribe Today

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth UniversityUniversity of GreenwichThe University of Winchester

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

DOSSIERS

Like longer reads? Try our in-depth dossiers that provide a comprehensive view of each topic

  • REDD+ or Dead?
    The UN-backed REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) scheme, under which developing nations would be paid not to cut dow...
    The true cost of meat
    As one of the world’s biggest methane emitters, the meat industry has a lot more to concern itself with than merely dietary issues ...
    Long live the King
    It is barely half a century since the Born Free story caused the world to re-evaluate humanity’s relationship with lions. A few brief decades later,...
    London: a walk in the park
    In the 2016 London Mayoral election, the city’s natural environment was high on the agenda. Geographical asks: does the capital has a green future, ...
    The Money Trail
    Remittance payments are a fundamental, yet often overlooked, part of the global economy. But the impact on nations receiving the money isn’t just a ...

MORE DOSSIERS

NEVER MISS A STORY - follow Geographical

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in NATURE...

Wildlife

Aaron Gekoski continues working alongside the Wildlife Rescue Unit

Geophoto

Today, the camera is regarded as an essential smartphone feature.…

Oceans

An innovative new theory hopes to save millions of lives…

Wildlife

Aaron Gekoski continues his personal adventure into the wilds of…

Wildlife

Simple tracking devices have enabled conservationists to amass big data,…

Climate

In a new report, researchers have calculated the global emissions…

Climate

Geographical’s regular look at the world of climate change. This…

Wildlife

The latest episode sees ‘Bertie’ enlisting in wildlife rescue boot…

Energy

Icelandic engineers are attempting to harness the powerful geothermal energy…

Wildlife

New video series tracks the journey of Aaron Gekoski as…

Energy

Newly-developed ‘sustainable rubber’, produced using recycled food waste, could one…

Geophoto

This winter has seen frequent storms and flooding hitting many…

Wildlife

The bison, Poland’s symbol of nature conservation, already faces controversial…

Wildlife

Wolves have arrived at a wildlife park in Devon as…

Climate

An unassuming beach in Denmark is absorbing record-breaking levels of…

Energy

The environmental cost of military activities is significant. Could new…

Wildlife

Latest figures suggest that there are more than twice as…

Tectonics

How does the proposed allocation of ‘Zealandia’ as an independent…

Wildlife

Is extinction forever? While most would assume that yes, extinction…

Geophoto

Wide-angle photography is perhaps the best way to recreate the…