Second part of Chernobyl arch lifted

05 August 2014

The second half of the Chernobyl arch has been raised in a landmark event for the long term management of the accident site.

Designed to protect the remains of Chernobyl 4, which was destroyed in an accident in 1986, the New Safe Confinement will consist of an enormous arch some 257m across and 108m high. It is being made in two large sections, the second of which has been hoisted from the ground for the first time.

Chernobyl arch - lifting of second half 460 (ChNPP)
Nearly finished, the second section is lifted in front of the first, more complete section (Image: Chernobyl NPP)

After assembly on the ground, the lift to a height of 33m took place over two days on 2-4 August.

The second section consists of a number of steel frameworks, which must be extended to reach the ground before the section as a whole is complete. For the second section this is expected at the end of August, when a further lift will take it to the full height of 108m.

Once this second stage is completed, the entire structure - weighing some 31,000 tonnes - will be pushed over unit 4 and part of its turbine hall using hydraulic jacks. This sliding operation - expected to take three days - is scheduled before the end of 2015. End walls will then be built to strengthen and seal the New Safe Confinement, creating a means of confining dust and debris from the dismantlement of unit 4 while protecting it from harsh weather.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News