Experimental plantations of energy willow

The research project on the cultivation of energy crops in the exclusion zone has been initiated as a part of the development of the concept for reforming the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone (the Zone) and the use of alternative and renewable energy sources.

The idea of the project is to explore the possibilities for the restoration and use of fertile soils of the exclusion zone for industrial purposes and to monitor the contamination of energy willow by radionuclides throughout its growth, identifying opportunities and conditions for the use of its wood for energy purposes with the further exchange and dissemination of experience in this direction.

In September 2015, the development of a set of measures for the growth and monitoring of the development of an experimental energy willow plantation in the territory of SSE Chornobyl NPP's cooling pond was started. In November 2015, with the support of the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management, the first experimental plantation (1 ha) was set up by the Chernobyl Institute for Research and Development. The second experimental plantation (1 ha) was established in March 2016. The trees struck root and have been growing as normal so far.

Today, the project is being implemented—monitoring of the state of plants and soils on two research sites-plantations is in progress.

The Chornobyl Research and Development Institute continues to support and promote research on energy crops cultivation in the Zone and is planning to expand experimental plantations.