Get out of here stalker!
This page contains spoilers to the game's final plot. It is advised you skip this section or page if you haven't completed the game yet!
The site of the world-famous nuclear power plant. This is the heart of the Zone. If you believe the legends, this is also the site of the Monolith - a mysterious thing capable of granting any wish.Shadow of Chernobyl PDA description
The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Chernobyl NPP, or simply CNPP, is a location featured in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky. The location is absent from S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat but is mentioned on several occasions. It is one of the most important locations in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. universe.
The V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station, as it was known during the Soviet era, consisted of four reactors of type RBMK-1000, each capable of producing 1,000 megawatts (MW) of electric power (3.2 GW of thermal power), and the four together produced about 10% of Ukraine's electricity at the time of the accident.
The Chernobyl station is 18 km (11 mi) northwest of the town of Chernobyl, 16 km (9.9 mi) from the border of Ukraine and Belarus and about 100 km (62 mi) north of Kiev. Construction of the plant and the nearby city of Pripyat, Ukraine to house workers and their families began in 1970, with Reactor No. 1 commissioned in 1977. It was the third nuclear power station in the Soviet Union of the RBMK-type (after Leningrad and Kursk), and the first ever nuclear power plant on Ukrainian soil.
The completion of the first reactor in 1977 was followed by Reactor No. 2 (1978), No. 3 (1981), and No. 4 (1983). Two more reactors, No. 5 and 6, capable of producing 1,000 MW each, were under construction at the time of the accident. Reactor No. 5 was about 70% complete at the time of the accident and was scheduled to start operating in November 7, 1986. However, all work was halted on January 1, 1988, leaving most of the machinery behind. Furthermore, a 6th reactor was planned in a new block of buildings scheduled to be completed in 1994.
On April 26, 1986, what is known as the Chernobyl Disaster occured. Due to a series of human errors and deficiencies, a sudden and unexpected power surge occured in reactor #4, and when an emergency shutdown was attempted, an exponentially larger spike in power output occurred, which led to a reactor vessel rupture and a series of steam explosions. These events exposed the graphite moderator of the reactor to air, causing it to ignite. The resulting fire sent a plume of highly radioactive fallout into the atmosphere and over an extensive geographical area, including Pripyat. The plume drifted over large parts of the western Soviet Union and Europe.
Following the accident, many areas around the plant (including Pripyat and Chernobyl) were abandoned, and the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone was created around the CNPP. The Sarcophagus was built around reactor #4 in order to contain the radioactive particles emitted by the destroyed reactor.
In the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, the CNPP has a much different role. Between 1996 and 2006, a secret lab was built inside the derelict Sarcophagus in order to host the Common Consciousness project. It's from the CNPP itself that the C-Consciousness attempted to alter the Noosphere and delete negative factors to improve human condition on a global scale. In 2006, during an experiment in which the C-Con attempted to interact with the noosphere, the experiment backfired, and created a large rift in the noosphere, which led to the creation of the Zone.
The Chernobyl NPP is a place of myth and is believed to be the very heart of the Zone. Following the second incident in 2006 and the emergence of the Zone as seen in the games, this power plant became inaccessible. Almost impassable obstacles such as the Brain Scorcher and the Monolith faction, combined with the vivid imaginations of prospecting stalkers, caused wild rumors to begin spreading about what one might find in the Chernobyl NPP. The most well known tale is that of the Wish Granter, a monolithic crystal of unknown origin that makes one's wishes come true, rumoured to be hidden inside the destroyed reactor #4. Other rumors surrounding the NPP involve extra-terrestrials, treasure troves of artifacts, the Oasis, and other folklore.
Through the storyline of the games, it's eventually revealed that the Wish Granter is nothing but a fly-trap for these few who make it into the center of the Zone, either killing them or brainwashing them into becoming members of Monolith. The Brain Scorcher is a man-made experimental Kaymanov emitter and main defense of the C-Consciousness against the flow of stalkers. The Emissions are explained to be a defensive mechanism of the Zone itself against intrusions.
Shadow of Chernobyl
The Chernobyl NPP is among the final levels of Shadow of Chernobyl. It is comprised of two parts.
The front part of the CNPP is the first part of the level itself. It is accessed from Pripyat after the player manages to reach the other end of the city's sports stadium. At the time the Marked One arrives at the plant, the area is under heavy fire from the State Security Service which attempts a large military operation (codenamed Operation Monolith), aimed at taking control of the area. The player is then confronted by not only the Military (comprised of ground troops, BTR-70s and Mi-24 gunships) but, Monolith experts too.
Shortly after the player enters the area, they are warned that an emission is about to occur. The player is given five minutes to reach the Sarcophagus before it strikes.
The fight there is fairly difficult - the helicopters will mostly attack the player and will use their deadly rockets. Be sure to gun down the Monolith sniper at the entrance, then make a run for the entrance of the Sarcophagus - beware of the few Monolithians that guard the road, it's best to ignore them as losing time trying to kill them may result in the Hinds killing the player. Also, pay attention to the few Whirligigs that are on the main road to the area, as they will deal heavy damage to the player, who can be then finished off by the helicopters.
Approaching the entrance will result in a few more Monolith experts appearing. The entrance to the Sarcophagus itself is found at the bottom of a staircase, just inside the entrance to the plant.
If the player found the decoder in Pripyat and used it to confront the C-Consciousness - and declined their offer to join them - they will have to fight their way out of the NPP, with various parts of it connected by teleporters. This part of the level allows the player to explore the top of the Sarcophagus and various factory buildings around the plant. It's a gauntlet section where Monolith will relentlessly attack the player with snipers, regular soldiers, and exoskeleton-equipped Experts.
The strategy there is quite simple - the player has to go through the various Teleport anomalies while being confronted by the Monolith from various sides. Most of the opposition will be using assault rifles, though it will not be uncommon to meet Gauss snipers and RPG-7u-wielding stalkers - make sure to take them down first as they are very dangerous.
Useful loot including an Exoskeleton can be found in this area.
After going through all teleporters, Strelok is teleported in the secret lab with the room containing all six life pods of the Common Consciousness. Using his AKM-74/2U, he proceeds to destroy the pods, destroying the C-Consciousness itself.
The CNPP (specifically, the outside part from Shadow of Chernobyl) returns in Clear Sky as the final level. It's where Scar and the Clear Sky faction, after fighting their way through Limansk and the Limansk Hospital, reach the center of the Zone to destroy Strelok's psi-protection and prevent him to trespass in the Sarcophagus to prevent further emissions from the C-Consciousness. When the player arrives there, a large gunfight between Clear Sky and Monolith forces is already underway. After a short conversation with Lebedev, the player is given a prototype EM1 Rifle, and tasked with disabling Strelok's psi-protection field. The player must quickly incapacitate Strelok, while moving through different locations via portals from the previous game and fighting through groups of teleporting Monolithians. This must be done quickly, as Strelok will escape into the power plant if too much time is taken. After all is said and done (or unfortunately if Strelok enters the sarcophagus), the C-Consciousness triggers a powerful blowout, destroying the majority of the Clear Sky fighters, recruiting the survivors either as Monolith stalkers or as agents, as well as Strelok.
Unlike Shadow of Chernobyl, exploration of the area is usually limited due to the player having limited time to destroy Strelok's protection. Sometimes, though, a bug can appear which will spawn Strelok on ground level and not running away, giving infinite amount of time to wander around the area. Moreover, there is a possibility that Strelok will be stuck in one of his covers, allowing the player to also explore the area.
Call of Pripyat
- In both Shadow of Chernobyl and Clear Sky, the CNPP is erroneously located north to Pripyat. In real-life, it's located to the south-east. In Call of Pripyat, this seems to have been corrected, as to the direct north of Pripyat is located the region of Zaton; while the CNPP itself is nowhere to be found on the map, it can be assumed it has been moved to the correct location, given the in-game maps are based on real-life ones.
- The first, front part of the CNPP is the machine hall, which in real life contained the turbines and power generators of units 3 & 4 of the plant.
- In Clear Sky, Khaletskiy mentions that energy emissions emitted by the Chernobyl NPP are powerful enough to destroy satellites high in space.
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, st_dialogs_escape, string id "esc_comm_about_life_in_zone_1": "Well, I owe you, man. Let me tell you something - I know that stalkers are trying to reach the center of the Zone. I've seen old military maps, and it turns out that the center of the Zone is where the Chernobyl nuclear power plant used to be. It might be a coincidence, but I'd keep that in mind if I were you. Trouble is, even military satellites can't view that area in any spectrum. They don't even fly over it anymore, because the interference is so strong that they spontaneously combust. Obviously, this is all top secret, but a buddy of mine in the missile forces told me about it at a booze-up. If you want my advice - stay away from the center of the Zone."