Chornobyl NPP's Cooling Pond
Start of construction of the Chernobyl NPP cooling pond.
The cooling pond (cooling lake) is an artificial open water reservoir which was intended for cooling heated water in reactors of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th power units of the Chernobyl NPP.
The pond was built on the site of the old bed of the Pripyat River, and has about seven meters elevation above the level of water in the river. A pumping station was built on the bank of the pond, which continuously pumped water from the Pripyat River, thereby maintaining the necessary water level in the reservoir.
The pond was built in two stages. The first stage is the construction of the first generation of the Chernobyl NPP (the first and second power units). In 1976, the area of the reservoir-cooler was about 12 square kilometers, and this was enough to cool the two reactors. The second stage involves the construction of the second generation of the Chernobyl NPP (the third and fourth power units). At the same time, the pond had to be expanded, since its area was not enough to cool all four units of the nuclear power plant. As a result, the reservoir was expanded twice, and its area became 22.9 square kilometers.
The maximum depth of the cooling pond was 20 meters. The water around the perimeter is fenced with a 25 km dam, its width is from 70 to 100 meters. In the middle of the reservoir-cooler, a five-kilometer separation dam was created, which provided water circulation for better cooling.
It should be noted that the construction of both the cooling pond and the Chernobyl NPP hit the village of Nagortsy (248 people), which was forced to relocate to the nearest villages, and some even got apartments in Pripyat. These people, because of the nuclear power plant, experienced two evacuations in their lives: the first was the construction of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, the second was a disaster in 1986.
After the accident at the fish breeding base, which functioned before the accident, a research laboratory of the State Scientific-Production Enterprise “Ecocenter” was created, which was engaged in the study of fish and mollusks in the reservoir and the effect of radionuclides on these organisms until 2008. Unfortunately, in a few years, the vandals killed almost all the exhibits left by scientists during the conservation of the station.
It is known that at night on April 26, there were fishermen on the pond. Some of them subsequently died from radiation sickness.
In 2012, Discovery TV channel filmed one of the series of the film “River Monsters” in the Exclusion Zone. The show host, Jeremy Wade, was supposed to catch a huge catfish in the Chernobyl cooling pond. As a result, he managed to hook the atomic giant catfish.
During the explosion of the fourth unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, a huge amount of fragments of reactor structures and radioactive dust hit the bottom of the pond. Therefore, in 2014, a project was created, which included the reduction of the water level in the pond and stripping it of the radioactive debris.
At the moment, there is a drainage of the cooling pond, and in the future, after drying and cleaning the territory of the former reservoir, it is planned to install solar panels that will work for the needs of the station.
Excursions to the Chernobyl Zone, the city of Chernobyl, Chernobyl NPP, Pripyat.
The cooling pond is located near the main road leading to the nuclear power plant, on which we make our trips. Therefore, you can see and feel the scale of the construction of the pond. They said that the reservoir was once considered to be one of the largest artificial structures in Europe. Also, the route of CHERNOBYL ADVENTURE passes through the supply channel that connects the cooling pond and the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and only in this channel there is an opportunity to have a look at the giant catfish, which are not opposed to snack on bread. Tours with CHERNOBYL ADVENTURE pass through the most interesting and safe routes, where throughout the day you are accompanied by experienced guides who have been personally acquainted with the Exclusion Zone for years. For more experienced travelers, our team has developed unusual routes and locations that are separated from the main route of all tourist groups. We invite you to visit unique places that attract people from all countries. Book a tour right now, and soon you will visit the place where everything stopped at April 26, 1986. See you on the tour!