The Ukrainian government is in talks with Canadian businessmen over a possible investment in projects on developing the area neighboring the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukrainian Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Ostap Semerak said on Tuesday.
"The Canadian investors are interested in the construction of biofuel plants and power plants in the Chernobyl zone," Semerak was quoted as saying by the cabinet press service.
Particularly, the Ukrainian government and the Canadian businessmen see good prospects for building a solar power plant in the Chernobyl zone, Semerak said.
He explained that investing in solar energy development in the territory, which surrounds the devastated nuclear power plant, could be profitable as the area has workable electricity transmission infrastructure and offers low prices for the land lease.
Currently, there are about 6,000 hectares of land near the Chernobyl power plant, which could be used for industrial purposes, such as building power generation facilities or cultivating energy crops for biofuel, Semerak said.
The Chernobyl nuclear power plant, located some 130 km from Kiev, is a site of one of the worst nuclear accidents in the human history, which occurred on April 26, 1986, causing irreparable damage to the environment and people's health.
For decades, the 30-km-radius territory around the plant has been designated as an exclusion zone with ordinary people prohibited from entering it.
As the toxic radiation levels in the area decreased, the Ukrainian government has started an initiative to turn the Chernobyl area into an industrial zone.
Last year, Kiev has launched a project to create a wildlife reserve in Chernobyl, covering an area of about 150,000 hectares, which does not include the contaminated 10-km-radius territory around the plant.