Chornobyl disaster: Peek inside the new sarcophagus for Chornobyl (photo, video)

12:19 Nov. 3, 2016

Peek inside the new sarcophagus for Chornobyl (photo, video)

Constructing the confinement at Chornobyl nuclear plant (Source:

Unique engineering solutions, enormous size, and stunning building mastery - watch how the cover of the radioactive reactor of ruined Chornobyl nuclear plant is made

The Arch – this is the name of the new safe confinement – will be installed at its place during November. It should work for at least 100 years. Inside, cranes will be placed. They will later be used to dismantle the old sarcophagus. The entombment is 110 meters high, 165 meters long and weighs over 30,000 tons.


The construction elements are fixed together with 500,000 of bolts. The height of the Arch – 110 meters – is comparable to the Statue of Liberty in New York.


Metal framing and the cover weigh almost 25,000 tons – it is comparable to three Eiffel towers.


Total weight with the cranes exceeds 31,000 tons. This super-heavy construction will be moved on rails, as the company constructs the entombment 250 meters away from the reactor – to protect workers.


Below you can see a picture of confinement cranes compared to a Boeing-777.


The total area of the roof is 86,000 square meters – it is like 12 football fields.


Novarka concern together with Ukrainian builders started to work on this project in 2007. The new confinement is meant to replace the old one, installed in December of 1986. Money for the project has been raised by international donors. European Bank of Reconstruction and Development created a special fund. 45 countries, including Ukraine, Russia, and the USA. 

Read more about this project

The 4th reactor that exploded in 1986 is now an open source of radiation. The entombment is to become the first step to protecting the environment from possible leaks. The next extra-complicated task will be burying the radioactive waste. Ukraine still does not have a proper storage facility, and building it could take years. 

Watch more Last Chornobyl residents about their life in exclusion zone

The Chernobyl disaster, also referred to as the Chernobyl accident, was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 in the No.4 light water graphite moderated reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Pripyat, in what was then part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union (USSR).


It is the worst catastrophe of the kind that has ever happened. The radioactive cloud covered almost all of Europe. In the aftermath of the accident, 237 people suffered from acute radiation sickness, of whom 31 died within the first three months. The incident had a vast influence on ecological situation and people's health. 

You can read about all the details of the Chornobyl catastrophe in our special project Chornobyl Disaster: Ukraine's Sorrow



Based on reporting by

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