Chernobyl’s new protective shell taking shape via DW

The new protective shell over the damaged Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Chernobyl is starting to take shape. But, it’s not meant as a final solution for the site and financing for the project remains uncertain.

Several hundred builders are working on a crowded construction site, day and night. The workers come from all around the world: Ukraine, Turkey, France, Germany, Russia, Italy, Philippines and Azerbaijan. At first glance, things here don’t look much different from at any other building site. But, if you look closer, you then see the radiation gauges that everyone wears around their necks, and the world-famous silhouette of Chernobyl’s covered former nuclear reactor.

The construction of the New Safe Confinement (NSC), a protective cover, or sarcophagus, over the radioactive ruins of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, looks deceptively routine. In reality, things could become life-threatening here at any time. Just in case, everyone here has a breathing mask.

An accident in February this year near the site showed the extent of the risk of radioactive contamination. Only about 100 meters away from the building site, masses of snow caused a 600-square-metre section of a roof in a machinery hall to cave in.

”We were lucky, the wet weather prevailed and no significant emissions resulted,” Viktor Salisezki, chief engineer of the NSC project, told DW.

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