Jupiter Radiotechnology Factory – Pripyat, Ukraine - Atlas Obscura

Jupiter Radiotechnology Factory

A huge Soviet-era robotics factory in the outskirts of Pripyat, now long-abandoned. 


The Jupiter Factory is a sprawling abandoned electronics factory complex located on the outskirts of Pripyat, inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Northern Ukraine.

Pripyat, the planned city next to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which opened in 1970, was the ninth such atomgrad built in the USSR to house nuclear power plant workers and their families.

About 50,000 people were living in Pripyat when the Chernobyl Disaster happened in April 1986. The power plant was the largest employer in the city; the Jupiter Factory was second with around 3,500 employees.

In 1980, it was decided that Pripyat would house a new electronics factory. Jupiter officially made cassette recorders and electronic components for home appliances here. In reality, it secretly produced semiconductor components for the Soviet military and housed test workshops for experimental robotic systems.

When the Chernobyl Disaster saw Pripyat evacuated and abandoned, parts of the Jupiter Factory remained in use, primarily for radiological experiments. This went on until 1996, after which it was abandoned too.

Today, the remains of the Jupiter Factory are a site of glorious disrepair, slowly being taken back by nature like the rest of the city around it. Much of what is in there has been picked over by scavengers. Presume anything that hasn’t is highly irradiated.

Know Before You Go

Ukraine is a war zone, so don't risk going there at the moment for obvious reasons.

In normal times, as is the case for the Zone in general, go with guide who knows which parts of the factory contain safe levels of radiation. Before the Russo-Ukraine war, a range of official and unofficial tours of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone existed.

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March 1, 2023

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