No impact from Chernobyl roof collapse

13 February 2013

Sections of the walls and roof of Chernobyl 4's turbine building have collapsed under weight of snow, officials reported, noting no change in radiation levels at the site.

The collapse at 2.03pm yesterday occurred on the opposite side of the turbine building from the reactor, in an area of roof repaired after being damaged by the accident in 1986. It had no effect on the reactor or the shelter that protects it from the weather, said plant managers.

Chernobyl roof collapse, 12 February 2013 (SNRC) 460x229
Images released by the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate show the scale of the collapse (left); as well as the area it occurred, relative to the reactor building and the future position of the arching New Safe Confinement (right)

Some 600 square metres of wall panels and roof sections caved into the building, with this initially being blamed on a build up of snow. An investigation is due to report in 14 days on the causes and potential mitigating actions that could be taken. It will be headed by the plant's technical director and chief engineer Andrei Bilyk and will include participation of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate.

There were no injuries and the incident had no effect on the shelter's forthcoming replacement, a huge arch known as the New Safe Confinement. When in place, probably in 2016, the NSC will cover the reactor building as well as a portion of the turbine hall including the part that collapsed yesterday.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News