Nuclear Safety Team Visit to the Duga (Chernobyl-2) Secret Radar Installation.

Duga, (Chernobyl-2) Radar Installation.

The Secret Soviet Radar Station, Duga 2, is hidden in a remote part of the forest in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, just a few kilometres from the Chernobyl power plant, and stands as a cold war relic of Soviet Union. Constructed in 1972, approximately the same time as the construction of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, it was put into operation in 1976 and was operated until 1989.

The Duga, nicknamed the Woodpecker, was an over-the-horizon-radar, which was supposedly installed to detect the launch of ballistic missiles from the United States. Repetitive interference sounding like a sharp continual tapping noise at 10 Hz, led to it being named the Woodpecker.

Each radar installation comprised of a transceiver station and a receiver station. The  receiver station for this installation (Chernobyl-1), was located near the town of Chernihiv 60km to the East of the (Chernobyl-2) installation. Out of the three over-the-horizon-radar stations in the former USSR, the Duga II in Chernobyl, Ukraine, is the only one left standing.

Duga (Дуга́, meaning “arc”), it is believed there were a total of three (3) Duga radar installations in the former USSR, each one comprising of a separate transmitter and a receiver station (3×2).  These were located near Chernobyl, and Nikolaev in Ukraine, and Komsomolsk-on-Amur in Eastern Russia, although it is understood the installation near Nikolaev, was an experimental system.

Duga, Chernobyl-2, view from the forest.
Duga, (Chernobyl 2). Some of the interesting shapes reviled in the Structure.
Anthony James Addington-Barker at the Duga, (Chernobyl 2) Woodpecker – 8 November 2019.
Anthony James Addington-Barker at the Duga, (Chernobyl 2) Woodpecker – 8 November 2019.
Duga Chernobyl-2 – 8 November 2019.
Duga Chernobyl-2 in the mist – 8 November 2019.
Bust of Lenin, entrance to the Duga, Radar Installation, (Chernobyl-2).
Side Gate at the Duga, (Chernobyl-2) Radar Installation.
Duga, Chernobyl-2 Training Room.

1. Photos; Duga Radar (Chernobyl-2) from Shutterstock
2. Further reading: Duga Radar (Chernobyl-2)
3. NSC site visit