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article imageChernobyl to be covered in steel

By RobotGod     Sep 17, 2007 in World
The authorities in Ukraine have hired a French firm and they have approved a giant steel cover to encase the radioactive site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, Chernobyl.
BBC reports that the Ukraine has hired a French firm to build the structure to replace the crumbling concrete casing put over the reactor after the 1986 accident.
The project is expected to cost $1.4bn or £700m and will take five years to complete. After that they can start dismantling the reactor.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko is quite happy about it:
"Today is probably the first time that we can openly look into the eyes of the national and international community and say that a solution to the problem that has long been called the Chernobyl problem was formally found," he said.
The French construction company Novarka will build a giant arch-shaped structure from steel, 623 feet wide and 200m long. It will cover the existing containment structure which is over the reactor and radioactive fuel that caused the accident.
The reactor still contains about 95% of the original nuclear material. The problem is that exposure to weather and poor construction has left the existing casing very weak.
A deal has also been signed with the US firm Holtec. They will build a storage facility within the zone for nuclear waste which has been produced by Chernobyl.
They may finally be on their way to truly solving this problem. Only time will tell. If they can pull it off, they will certainly look good. If they can not for some reason, it will only dishearten people more.
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