Ukraine to Build Chernobyl ‘Cap’ to Stop Radiation Leak, BBC, 26 April 2012
Twenty-six years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Ukraine is launching the construction of a new protective layer to cover the section of the reactor that exploded.
The disaster, caused by an explosion and fire in the nuclear power station’s main reactor, spread clouds of radiation across Europe and forced hundreds of thousands of people to be evacuated.
The BBC’s David Stern says the current protective covering is leaking radtiation.
The sarcophagus encasing Chernobyl was built in haste and is crumbling. Despite strengthening work there are fears it could collapse, leading to the release of tonnes of radioactive dust.
Work is due to begin on a £600m replacement shelter designed to last 100 years. This New Safe Confinement will be built on site and then slid over the sarcophagus.
The shelter will allow the concrete structure to be dismantled and for the radioactive fuel and damaged reactor to be dealt with. The ends of the structure will be closed-off.
More BBC Chernobyl coverage:
Commemorating the 27th anniversary of the disaster, revisiting Chernobyl photoessay.