The site of the worst nuclear power plant accident in history will be turned into a “biosphere radiologic reserve,” a Ukrainian minister has announced. The plan comes as a result of EU demands to expand reserve territories in the country.
News of Chernobyl becoming a reserve was announced by Ukraine's ecology and natural resources minister, Andrey Mokhnik, Itar-Tass news agency reported. The project aims to expand reserve territories in the country, which at the moment occupy six percent of its land. The EU demands that number be increased to 15 percent.
The largely uninhabited area near the plant, originally extending around 20 miles in all directions, is officially called the “zone of alienation.” It is estimated that the area will not be safe for human life for another 20,000 years.
The Chernobyl disaster happened close to the Belarus border, with some of its territories being badly affected. Belarus created a reserve covering its alienation zones in 1988. The Polessky Radiologic-Ecology Reserve is now the largest protected area in the country. Various research projects, including studies of wildlife with minimal human intervention, are carried out on the premises.