Construction and Operation

The Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant is the first NPP on the territory of present-day Ukraine, operation of which commenced on September 26, 1971.

The history of ChNPP starts from the Order of the USSR Council of Ministers dated September 29, 1966, on putting into service the energy capacities of 11.9 mln kW. A part of this capacity, i.e. 8 mln kW, must be generated by the nuclear power plants.

In the southern part of the Unified Energy System of USSR, it was planned to construct a nuclear power plant which has to provide electric power for the Central Energy Region, i.e. 27 regions of Ukrainian SSR and Rostov Region having population of 53 million people.

When selecting a place for the NPP construction, it was considered that the most economically advantageous radius of electric power supply constitutes to about 350-450 km. For the purpose of selecting the optimal option for the nuclear power plant location, 16 construction sites in Kyiv, Vinnytsia and Zhytomyr regions were investigated. Two construction sites were proposed: near Ladyzhyny village in Vinnytsia Region and near Kopachi village in Kyiv Region. Firstly, this Plant was called the Central Ukrainian NPP.

By the Order of the Minister of Energy and Electrification of USSR No. 297 dated December 11, 1969, an Administration of the NPP under construction was established locating in Kopachi village of Chornobyl District in Kyiv Region subordinated to “Holovatomenergo”. The industrial site of Chornobyl NPP was located in the eastern part of Ukrainian-Bilorussian Polissia 160 km north-eastwards from Kyiv and 15 km north-westwards from Chornobyl town in Kyiv Region.

On August 15, 1972, the first cubic meter of concrete was put into the foundation of the main building.

On September 26, 1977, ChNPP Unit 1 was commissioned by the Turbine Generator 2 connection to the network. The first nuclear power plant came into existence on Ukrainian territory.

The last Power Unit of Chornobyl NPP, Unit 4, has been raised to power 1,000 MW ahead of schedule on March 28, 1984.

The Chornobyl NPP site consists of two main functional complexes: an industrial site of NPP with outdoor switchgear, cooling pond and construction base. Location and arrangement of industrial buildings and facilities meet the main hygiene and sanitary principle of NPP designing – zoning of whole territory, all buildings and premises of the plant into the controlled access area and the free access area.

The controlled access area includes the territory, buildings and premises of the plant where there is a potential of radiation factor impact on personnel. The personnel are allowed to the controlled access area only through a change facility. Within the controlled access area, all premises are divided into serviced, half-serviced and non-serviced ones. In the free access area, under normal conditions of equipment operation, the radiation factor impact is excluded completely.