Home / Science and technology / The "Chernobyl Sarcophagus" is hurriedly dismantled, since it is on the verge of destruction

The "Chernobyl Sarcophagus" is hurriedly dismantled, since it is on the verge of destruction

Chernobyl sarcophagus

The old sarcophagus erected over the destroyed 4th unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant may fall apart at any time, reports the managing company of the Chernobyl NPP. The construction, hastily erected by the heroic efforts of 600,000 Soviet workers and engineers, today is held in place only due to gravity. About 400,000 cubic meters concrete and 30,000 tons of steel retain the shape of the structure, but it is thoroughly worn and has long lost its tightness.

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When the Sarcophagus was built in 1986, the speed of work was in the first place, and the strength of the protective structure, which had to withstand the little-known threat emanating from the destroyed nuclear power plant, was in the second place. The last thing they thought about the accuracy of the installation, the issue of durability was also not really worked out due to lack of time and resources. As a result, over the course of three decades, many cracks and holes have formed at the junctions of elements in the Sarcophagus. The old isolation also fell into disrepair.

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Fortunately, back in 2016, the assembly of the “New Safe Confinement” object (a new safe shelter) – a giant dome of 32,000 tons of steel – was completed. It became the largest land mobile structure in history – the dome was assembled nearby and pulled onto the Sarcophagus, completely covering it and all the old structures. Now inside, under the new protection, you can safely carry out dismantling work, which will begin in the near future.

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It has already been announced that a contract has been signed between the managing company of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the contractor Ukrbudmontazh to disassemble the Sarcophagus by 2023. After that, an even more complicated stage will begin – the elimination of the lava masses formed during the quenching of the burning core with a mixture of sand, lead and boron. They are extremely radioactive, and therefore require new processing methods. This phase is planned to be completed by 2065.

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