Crossing borders: Chernobyl part II - The 'Jupiter' plant

2017-12-13
Crossing borders: Chernobyl part II - The 'Jupiter' plant

More than 30 years have passed since the disaster caused by the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. The area of over 125,000 km2 has been contaminated. These are both forest and urban areas. The power plant area, the forest later called "Rudy" and the city of Pripyat, located about 4 km from Chernobyl, where most of the plant's employees and their families lived, were most affected by radioactive fallout. 49 360 people were evacuated from the city after the disaster. Pripyat before the catastrophe was a pearl of Russian cities - a rich center, to which even people from the capital came for shopping. The second largest employer was the "Jupiter" plant, which is associated with secret urban legends.

"Jupiter" was an industrial plant located in the western part of the city on 11 Fabryczna street. It dealt with the production of electronic components for radios and more. The plant was commissioned in 1979, it was to provide employment to people not working in a power plant. The plant dealt with the production of audio devices: tape recorders, radio receivers and radio stations, as well as the production of reel tapes for Jupiter tape recorders series 204 and 206. Cooling towers located on the site of the plant were part of the water treatment system, pumping stations and sewage treatment plants.

After the evacuation in 1986, the building was completely abandoned. For several weeks it was the target of intensive decontamination, i.e. removal of radioactive contamination. In the same year, it was taken over by the company "Spectrom" and transformed into a radiology laboratory, where research was carried out on various decontamination techniques and instruments for measuring doses of ionizing radiation as well as the production of parts of the Sarcophagus were tested. The plant closed in 1996.

Each smaller or larger urban center in which people live and work has "urban legends". Sometimes these are specific people, dark places or stories about situations passed down by grandmothers gossiping in the store. The village of Pripyat, although abandoned and contaminated with radiation, also has such legends. One of them concerns the "Jupiter" plant, and exactly what this plant produced secretly during its operation. Some sources and legends say that "Jupiter" processed and recovered military plutonium from spent nuclear fuel from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. These statements are not in favor of the veracity of the former employees of the "Jupiter" plant, who refer to the poor security of the facility, such as a 2-meter wall, or the proximity of such a large city as Pripyat.

Dosimetric gates left in the buildings, warnings and signs on how to handle radioactive materials, or decontamination rooms are the remains of a radiological laboratory, which operated here until 1996.

From "Jupiter" I will follow my small private dream, Radar "Duga" located in a mysterious ghost town.

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