Chernobyl's Massive Radiation Shield Is Preventing Nuclear Fallout
Chernobyl's New Safe Confinement is protecting the world from another nuclear disaster.
The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster has been regarded as the worst nuclear accident in history. The fallout from the event has affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, and left behind one of the most radioactive sites in the world. Shortly after the accident, construction crews and clean-up personnel known as "liquidators" risked their lives to construct and concrete and steel sarcophagus to seal in radioactive material. This sarcophagus still stands today, but is unstable due to years of erosion.
This issue led over 40 countries and multiple organizations to work together to build a better, larger solution. The New Safe Confinement (NSC) has moved into place to cover Chernobyl's decomposing tomb. Weighing in at 35,000 tons, the structure is taller than the Statue of Liberty and longer than two jumbo jets. The purpose of the structure is to encapsulate the contaminated sarcophagus and close it off from the environment with an airtight seal. Once the NSC is sealed, crews will then begin the long process of dismantling the old enclosure to prevent it from collapsing.
Thanks to the hard work of the crews and backers of this project, an additional nuclear disaster has been averted. Although this is a tremendous feat, it cannot go without mentioning that due to the nature of radioactive material, the site will remain contaminated for the foreseeable future.
We would like to thank The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for providing us with video assets for this episode. For more information on their involvement with the New Safe Confinement, visit: http://www.ebrd.com/what-we-do/sectors/nuclear-safety/chernobyl-new-safe-confinement.html