Kurils/Iturup: Abandoned Geothermal Plant on Baranskiy

Baranskiy Volcano is one of the most active in the entire Kurils Islands chain. For a time, there was a plan to develop a geothermal field on the volcano’s slopes to supply energy to the entire town of Kurilsk, the capital of Iturup. That didn’t work out due to logistical reasons, bureaucracy, equipment theft, cheaper oil, and just because it’s Russia. So the plant is now standing abandoned and rusty with steam billowing out of everywhere, fumaroles and mud volcanoes steaming and gurgling everywhere and the whole place looks like it might blow at any moment. It is neither safe nor a good idea to walk around here but then again it’s possible and doable just because it’s Russia!