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Chernobyl nuclear reactor slated for billion-pound solar park despite radiation fears via Independent

Chernobyl was the scene of the world’s worst nuclear accident in 1986

Ukraine is in talks with one of France’s biggest energybusinesses to construct a £969m solar facility at the derelict Chernobyl nuclear reactor plant and its surrounding area.

Ostap Semerak, Ukraine’s minister of ecology, said Engie is starting a pre-feasibility survey, bankrolled by the French government, next week. The results should be published by the end of the year.

“France’s experience in nuclear is one of the reasons that we wanted to work with them,” Mr Semerak told The Washington Post. “They approached us after we announced our intention to develop renewables in Chernobyl.”

[…]

Chernobyl was the scene of the world’s worst nuclear accident in 1986, causing 56 direct deaths. However, estimates suggest the death toll could be as high as 4,000 because of radiation exposure-related cancer fatalities.

A 30km exclusion zone remains around the reactor that set fire during a safety test. 

Despite the area remaining contaminated and a large quantity of radioactive material still at the demolished reactor, Ukraine is looking at using Chernobyl as a base for renewable energy.

[…]

The Life Span Study has found no evidence that nuclear radiation causes multi-generational genetic damage.

In 2006, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation reported: “Although those exposed as children and the emergency and recovery workers are at increased risk of radiation-induced effects, the vast majority of the population need not live in fear of serious health consequences due to the radiation from the Chernobyl accident.”

Mr Semerak is confident about the future of the plant. “The big question at this time last year was would anyone be interested, would anybody want to build renewables in a territory that’s limited, polluted?”

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