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CleanTechnica Story Of A Nuclear Power Plant In Ukraine That Was Blocked & Turned Into A Disco

Published on January 25th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


Story Of A Nuclear Power Plant In Ukraine That Was Blocked & Turned Into A Disco

One of the most interesting stories from my trip* touring Ukraine’s cleantech projects and initiatives was actually a story about a nuclear power plant in Shcholkine, Crimea. The power plant was nearly completed before it was blocked by local residents who were concerned about the location of the power plant, and nuclear power in general. Shcholkine’s mayor took the time to relay to the story of the nuclear power plant to us, through a friendly translator, as you can see in the video below.

Here’s a short video I took from around the now crumbling nuclear reactor:

If you’re not a video person, here’s a quick summary of the story:

  • Being very disconnected geographically from other regions of the country, back in the 1960s, the Crimea region of what is now Ukraine was continuously struggling with blackouts and brownouts related to poor connection to those other regions.
  • In 1969, it was decided that a power plant needed to be built in the Crimea region. Different options were considered, but it was eventually decided that a nuclear power plant should be built in the region.
  • Unfortunately, there’s quite a bit of seismic potential in the Crimea region. The town of Shcholkine was chosen as the location for the nuclear power plant because it was the “least” dangerous. In this location, the maximum-size earthquake possible was considered to be a Richter-scale-7.0 earthquake — which is still a very large earthquake.
  • Actually, despite deciding in 1969 to build the nuclear power plant, the project wasn’t started until 1982 because it was so difficult for the country to come to a conclusion on the safest location for the power plant.
  • Following the disaster at Chernobyl, citizen unrest blocked the nuclear power plant from ever being completed.
  • The nuclear power plant is now in ruin, but there were many years when it was actually used for discos, bike summits, and such. I talked to a number of people who recalled going to parties inside the area where the reactor would have been operating.

In support of Ukrainians fighting a much bigger battle today, I also highly recommend: Help Protect Democracy In Ukraine.

*Full disclosure: My trip to and around Ukraine was supported by Activ Solar and greencubator.

Read more about my trip to Ukraine on our Ukraine channel.

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

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