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Before Chernobyl’s New Huge Enclosure Was Completed

Last autumn in Chernobyl, it was time to put the new enormous dome to enclose the wrecked nuclear power plant for at least 100 years. The building belongs to the largest moving objects ever constructed. See the pictures that nowadays is impossible to take.

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The almost finished sarcophagus, August 2016

Until recently, the strong radioactive reactor 4 in Chernobyl has been covered with concrete. When covered the reactor into concrete, sustainability was calculated to 30 years. In recent years, however, cracks have been discovered and radioactivity leaked. To seal these alone would not be enough. It would only delay the risk of a new Chernobyl disaster.

Highly radioactive radiation leaked

Until last autumn, the radiation was high at 200 meters from the reactor as the first picture shows. Those working on the site work for periods of time to remain free for a long time so exposure to radiation does not get too constant.

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Reactor 4, the source of the disaster.

Huge building over the reactor

To avoid a new catastrophe, 46 donor countries have been involved and sponsored a huge construction project – The new sarcophagus made of steel for covering the reactor. It is a huge colossus that is 257 meters wide, 162 meters tall and weighs 36,000 tons.

The new sarcophagus has been built in a sanitized spot 300 meters from reactor 4. This for not endanger the health of the nearly 2,000 people who worked on the project.

The last thing that was done was to move the giant construction, which was made on a specially built rack of Teflon and hydraulics.

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Reactor 4 with the new sarcophagus in the background.

Robots did the most dangerous work

Among other countries, Sweden has contributed to the construction which cost over 2.15 billion euros. The new sarcophagus also provides new technological possibilities to reduce the risk of spreading radioactive substances. From the outside, they should be able to control robots that work to remove high radioactive waste. It is estimated that about 100 tonnes of high-radioactive uranium and plutonium remain at the scene of the accident.

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Construction workers on their way to the nuclear power plant.

Delays and snowstorms

The new capsule would have been ready in spring 2016, but lack of experience has been something that slowed down the work. No similar construction has ever been built.

In the winter 2013-2014 was unusually much snow, resulting in the snow masses collapsed parts of the roof of the old concrete sarcophagus. A lot of radioactive particles were once again released into the air.

Any chance to see the world famous reactor 4 is no longer available.

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