Three decades after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and following one of the world’s most ambitious engineering projects, the remains of the power plant’s destroyed reactor 4 have been safely enclosed.
Standing 110m high, 250m wide, 150m long and weighing in at 30,000 tonnes, the so-called New Safe Confinement, thought to be the largest land-based structure ever built, was moved into place along purpose built tracks late last month (November, 2016).
Designed and built by an international team funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) the structure was assembled around half a kilometre away from the damaged reactor to minimise workers’ exposure to radiation.
The completion of the vast arch marks the culmination of a project that began 1998, aimed at stabilising the crumbling sarcophagus that was hastily erected built around the damaged reactor following its explosion in 1986.
Following a commissioning phase the facility will be handed over to Ukrainian authorities who will begin the process of deconstructing the damaged reactor and removing the hazardous waste within.