The factory interior in June 2019
The Jupiter Factory (Russian: or ) is an abandoned factory located in the outskirts of Pripyat in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (Ukraine). Officially a manufacturer of cassette recorders and components for home appliances, the factory secretly produced semiconductor components for the military, and had test workshops for robotic systems.
As many university-educated people lived in Pripyat, the Soviet Union decided to build a factory in the outskirts to employ part of those people. This factory became the second employer in the area after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The factory opened in 1980 and employed around 3,500 people. Officially, Jupiter became a branch of the Kiev factory, Lighthouse, where they made cassette recorders and electronic components for home appliances.
But the reality was somewhat different. Production of tape and components for appliances was a smokescreen, and Jupiter secretly produced semiconductor components for the military industry. New materials were tested in laboratories and workshops and the robotics department developed various robotic systems.
Some time after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and the abandonment of Pripyat, some employees returned to Jupiter and the factory became a radiological laboratory for testing of various decontamination techniques and developing dosimetric instruments. The factory continued operations until 1996; today it is abandoned. The level of radioactive contamination in some places remains several times higher than the safe level, especially in the basement.