Chernobyl’s giant shield takes shape

As this stunning time-lapse video shows, engineers have made huge progress on the construction of Chernobyl’s New Safe Confinement, an immense shield that will replace the infamous reactor’s crumbling sarcophagus. 

As previously reported in The Engineer, in order to protect engineers from unsafe levels of radiation the development of this vast steel arch called for an innovative construction approach that has seen it assembled 600m away from the reactor and then slid into place along specially built tracks.

The shield is being assembled in two halves which are being joined together before being moved into place above the reactor
The shield is being assembled in two halves which are being joined together before being moved into place above the reactor

Funded by 46 different countries and organisations through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development  (EBRD), the shelter is the key element in a €2.15bn international effort to clean up the remains of mankind’s worst nuclear accident. Completion of the project is scheduled for the end of 2017. 

The EBRD recently agreed (December 2014) to provide an additional €350m funding for the project in order to help close an anticpated funding gap of€615m. The G7 / European Commission are also organising a pledging event for other potential donors that is due to take place in the spring of 2015. 

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Chernobyl’s New Safe Confinement – the facts

  • Weight – 30,000 tonnes
  • Height  – 110m
  • Width – 250m
  • length – 150m