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Chernobyl's new shelter moves slowly into place

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By Robert Hackwill
Chernobyl's new shelter moves slowly into place

Slowly moving into place in Ukraine, Chernobyl’s New Safe Confinement has cost some 1.5 billion euros and is projected to last at least 100 years. It is 257 metres wide with a length of 162 metres, a height of 108 metres and a total equipped weight of 36,000 tonnes.

Its job is contain the radiation leaking from the concrete sarcophagus that was hastily poured by heroic emergency workers after the nuclear reactor failed in April 1986.

“This is a culmination of hard work by many parties, over the years in Ukraine and worldwide. The new safe confinement is an unprecedented engineering success, it is an extremely complex structure built in a contaminated area. It is the largest land-based moveable structure,” said the EBRD Director of Nuclear Safety Vince Novak.

The structure is moving into place in stages of 60 centimetres as its progress is checked, an operation that will last five days.