Chernobyl’s arch: Sealing off a radioactive sarcophagus
2013 11 29
By Nick Meo | BBC
Work began in recent days to remove, bit by bit, the giant chimney protruding from the Chernobyl nuclear power station. It’s one small part of a mammoth engineering project, now nearing completion, designed to slash the risk of another major release of radioactivity.
Massive and glittering in the weak winter sunshine, a half-built arch looms over Chernobyl’s decaying industrial landscape of cooling towers and power lines.
The ends of the arch will also be sealed
One of the biggest engineering projects in history, it has been likened to a gigantic metal igloo, built to seal off hundreds of tons of nuclear fuel and dust buried inside reactor number four, which in 1986 blew up and burned for 10 days.
Everything about the project is epic: the size, the 1.5bn euro (£1.2bn) cost, the technical problems of working on a radioactive building site.
At 110m (360ft) tall, the structure could house the Statue of Liberty, and at 257m (843ft) wide, there would be room for a football pitch. There are acres of metal panels in the roof, to seal off the reactor and the dangerous mess inside. The whole lot will be held together by 680,000 heavy bolts.
With these gigantic dimensions the arch would be difficult to build anywhere, but it is being assembled in one of Europe’s more remote corners, a site surrounded by forest and marsh in northern Ukraine, far from the factories of Western Europe where its component parts are made. This autumn, as the project reached the half-way point, it was more than a decade behind schedule, although engineers believe work will now go more quickly and it could be finished in 2015.
"Nothing like this has ever been attempted before," says Don Kelly, 57, a nuclear industry veteran from Washington State, as he walks under the arch. He works with foreign specialists from 24 nations, as well as hundreds of Ukrainian workers. Young French technicians, who monitor radiation, work alongside Ukrainian veterans of the 1986 disaster, former Soviet engineers who risked their lives battling to put the fires out after the reactor exploded, sending a cloud of radioactivity across Europe.
Grinning with enthusiasm as he stares up at the roof, Mr Kelly points out Turkish workers in harnesses far overhead. "For anyone in the nuclear business, this is the place you want to be: the biggest, most exciting project in the world right now," he says.
Philippe Casse acknowledges that getting rid of all this highly radioactive material will be far more difficult than building the arch.
"Disposal will be an even bigger project," he says.
"There is no money at the moment.
"It could be done in 50 years’ time. Perhaps there will be the technology to solve the problem then."
Read the full article at: bbc.co.uk
Ukraine, Japan to monitor Chernobyl and Fukushima from space
Japan and IAEA “grossly downplaying” Fukushima cesium releases — Chernobyl-like levels leaked
Visit Sunny Chernobyl: Author Says Nuclear Meltdown Good for the Environment
The 25th Anniversary of Chernobyl (2011)
Germany’s radioactive boars a legacy of Chernobyl
Ukraine to open Chernobyl area to tourists in 2011
The world remembers Chernobyl
Chernobyl: Life in the Dead Zone
Latest News from our Front Page
STAGED INFECTION: Has The Ebola ‘Outbreak’ Narrative Fallen Apart?
2014 10 22
Over the past month, the ‘pandemic’ propaganda surrounding the deadly Ebola virus seemed to reach vitriolic levels – raising serious questions about the validity of this current viral outbreak…
On Monday of this week, it was reported that 48 people were released and cleared after a 21-day quarantine due to their contact with the now deceased Ebola-stricken patient Thomas Eric ...
6,000-Year-Old Temple with Possible Sacrificial Altars Discovered
2014 10 21
A 6,000-year-old temple holding humanlike figurines and sacrificed animal remains has been discovered within a massive prehistoric settlement in Ukraine.
Built before writing was invented, the temple is about 60 by 20 meters (197 by 66 feet) in size. It was a "two-story building made of wood and clay surrounded by a galleried courtyard," the upper floor divided into five ...
What happened to Journalist Serena Shim? Assassinated? Find out what happened to Serena, Press TV director calls on Turkey
2014 10 21
Press TV news director Hamid Reza Emadi says the “suspicious death,” of the news channel’s correspondent in Turkey is a tragedy for “anyone who wants to get the truth.”
Emadi made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Sunday following Serena Shim’s death across the border from Syria’s Kurdish city of Kobani, where the ISIL terrorists and Kurdish fighters ...
Ancient Roman Nanotechnology Inspires Next-Generation Holograms for Information Storage
2014 10 21
The Lycurgus Cup, as it is known due to its depiction of a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, is a 1,600-year-old jade green Roman chalice that changes colour depending on the direction of the light upon it. It baffled scientists ever since the glass chalice was acquired by the British Museum in the 1950s, as they could not work ...
Rapid Geomagnetic Reversal Possibility: Confirmed
2014 10 21
From the video: "The scientists who conducted the study are still unsure why the magnetic field is weakening, but one likely reason is the Earth’s magnetic poles are getting ready to flip, said Rune Floberghagen, the ESA’s Swarm mission manager. In fact, the data suggest magnetic north is moving toward Siberia."
Tune into Red Ice Radio:
Ben Davidson - Suspicious0bservers: Space Weather ...
|More News » |