“Jupiter” Factory- Purpose of the Facility
The factory started producing equipment in 1980. It was built to provide people not related to Chernobyl nuclear power plant with workplaces. Before the accident, it employed around 3,500 workers. According to official version, the factory produced components for household electronic devices including famous in the Soviet Union radios “Jupiter”. However, the complex was closed military facility. According to unofficial sources, it produced black boxes for military aviation and submarines, components for air defense systems and even electronic machines (proto computers) for the radar Duga-1.
The complex consisted of several buildings: administrative, production and auxiliary ones. The area was surrounded with high concrete fence with barbed wire on the top. Entering it was possible only through the checkpoint.
Factory After 1986
After the accident, the liquidators tried to decontaminate it as the rest of the city. Partly, they succeeded, and in 1987, the factory was restarted. However, its profile was changed according to the needs of the time. Enterprise “Spetsatom” was working on remote control machines. Special robots able to work under high levels of radiation were developed there. Also, radiological laboratory was located there. Its aim was to test different methods of decontamination and dosimeters. The enterprise was officially closed in 1996, but the work there lasted till the end of 1990s.
Today, the visits to the factory are possible in private and multiday tours. You can see a lot of equipment, journals and vehicles left there. Among them, there is a Japanese robot “Comatsu” which was used in decontamination of the power plant.