Three Decades After Nuclear Disaster, Chernobyl Goes Solar

Three Decades After Nuclear Disaster, Chernobyl Goes Solar
AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

Ukraine unveiled a solar plant in Chernobyl on Friday, just across from where a power station, now encased in a giant sarcophagus, caused the world's worst nuclear disaster three decades ago.

Built in a contaminated area, which remains largely uninhabitable and where visitors are accompanied by guides carrying radiation meters, 3,800 panels produce energy to power 2,000 apartments.

In April 1986, a botched test at reactor number 4 at the Soviet plant sent clouds of nuclear material billowing across Europe and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate.

Thirty-one plant workers and firemen died in the immediate aftermath of the accident, mostly from acute radiation sickness.

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