There is some good news inside Ukraine. The exclusion zone at Chernobyl will be the site of a massive wind farm that can power 800,000 homes in Kyiv. This wind farm will join a solar farm already in place powering 2,000 homes in Ukraine's capital city.
From Popular Mechanics:
The world knows the name Chernobyl for the nail-biting nuclear disaster of nearly 40 years ago. For decades, the 18-mile radius around the power plant, known as the “exclusion zone” didn’t produce a single watt of energy, becoming a hotbed for “dark tourism” and mutated animals.
But in the last five years, Chernobyl’s mission has been changing. In 2018, a 1 MW solar farm opened up shop in the exclusion zone, generating energy for some 2,000 homes. But the Ukrainian government isn’t stopping there, and hopes to one day transform the region into a “symbol of clean, climate-friendly energy.”
The plan? Transform Chernobyl into a 1 GW wind farm capable of powering up to 800,000 homes in nearby Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. If Ukraine realizes its vision, one made tougher by the ongoing war in Ukraine, Chernobyl would become one of the biggest wind energy projects in Europe.
Chernobyl is an attractive location for large-scale wind farms for a few reasons. The site contains existing infrastructure that can be upgraded rather than built from scratch, it’s near Ukraine’s largest city, and the overall impact of the development would be small due to the exclusion zone’s “ghost town” status. The wind farm will be built by the German company Notus Energy and operated by the Ukrainian transmission system operator Ukrenergo.
Of course, worker safety will be an issue.
Chernobyl, site of world’s worst nuclear disaster, could soon be home to an exciting new project: ‘Tolerable exposure levels for limited periods of time’
As for whether it will actually be safe for workers to spend time in the radiated zone, the answers are somewhat unclear. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, there is still radioactive material in the atmosphere, but it exists at “tolerable exposure levels for limited periods of time.”
However, there were also reports of Russian soldiers experiencing radiation sickness as recently as last year after digging into the dirt near the power plant. Russian forces seized the Chernobyl site during its invasion of Ukraine and held it for several weeks before abandoning it.