On May 14, 1986, the world’s worst nuclear accident was publicly acknowledged by then head of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev.
In October of this year (2016) Gorbachev said that “a nuclear weapon-free world is not a utopia, but an imperative necessity.”
In the six months after the disaster a massive steel and concrete so-called object shelter was built over the nuclear reactor 4 building. The sarcophagus was expected to to isolate the radiation for more than twenty years.
But it eventually showed signs of aging and needed a series of upgrades.
Huge protective shield slides into place to cover the stricken Chernobyl reactor as the 'sarcophagus' ages. (NPR): https://t.co/3zzivKxrwF
A new arched structure, which took four years to construct, was built by French consortium Novarka.
Chernobyl’s new shelter moves slowly into place
The waterproof arch is designed to seal the reactor complex, keeping it environmentally secure and to allow, sometime in the future, the partial demolition of the original shelter and reactor 4.
“The arch is now at its full height, full width and full length. 108 metres tall, 250 metres wide and 150 metres long, explained David Driscoll, from Novarka. “It will act as a safe confinement over the number four reactor and it is planned to last for 100 years, it designed to last for a 100 years, to give Ukraine chance to dismantle the number 4 reactor, to make it safe forever.”
The 25,000 ton steel framework is the largest mobile land structure in the world.
The cost, more than two billion euros, is funded by more than 40 countries and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)