The sarcophagus is massive, made up of over 7,700 tons (7,000 metric tons) of metal and 14.1 million cubic feet (400,000 cubic meters) of concrete. The finished structure will weigh about 31,000 tonnes and stand 110m tall and 257m wide. On December 22 1988, Soviet scientists announced that the sarcophagus would only last 20–30 years before requiring restorative maintenance work. That's when the sarcophagus will reach the end of its stable life and "expire," so to speak. On 22 December 1988, Soviet scientists announced that the sarcophagus would only last 20–30 years before requiring restorative maintenance work. This wall is reinforced concrete and was cracked by the accident. There was a problem. Visit our corporate site. © However, delays and a €100 million funding gap caused a yearlong delay, before being moved into place in November 2016. This object was called the Sarcophagus. Soon, it will be torn down. You will receive a verification email shortly. In 1998, with the help of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a conservation programme was completed that included securing the roof beams from collapsing. save hide report. Dismantling it will be "extremely complicated" and will happen under conditions of "high nuclear and radiation risk," the statement said. [1] The seams of the sarcophagus, however, were not properly sealed. This confinement structure, 354 feet (108 meters) high, was built a distance from the radioactive site and slid into place with 224 hydraulic jacks, according to a previous Live Science report. [4] The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant sarcophagus or Shelter Structure (Ukrainian: Об'єкт "Укриття") was a massive steel and concrete structure covering the nuclear reactor number 4 building of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The 'sarcophagus' that encased Unit 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is a giant metal concrete and structure that was hastily constructed as an emergency measure in 1986 to halt the release of radiation into the atmosphere following the explosion Chernobyl's Crumbling Sarcophagus, Built to Contain Deadly Radiation, Will Be Torn Down By … Chernobyl's new sarcophagus took two decades to make. best. The entire construction process consisted of eight stages: clearing and concreting of territory around reactor unit 4, erection of initial reinforced concrete protective walls around the perimeter, construction of separation walls between units 3 and 4, cascade wall construction, covering of the turbine hall, mounting of a high-rise buttress wall, erection of supports and installation of a reactor compartment covering and finally the installation of a ventilation system. Editor's note: This article was updated to clarify that it's not the new dome-shaped structure that's being dismantled, it's the sarcophagus underneath. As of 2020[update], the building is undergoing testing of its installed systems. On the other hand, the crumbling sarcophagus underneath it wasn't built to last long, and was a kind of Band-Aid approach to quickly contain the radiation during the time of the accident. In 1998, with the help of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a conservation programme was completed that included securing the roof beams from collapsing. This article is about the original containment. The present shelter is constructed on top of the ruins of the reactor building. Thank you for signing up to Live Science. Around these materials are a crumbling sarcophagus, a legacy of abandoned communities, relentless expense, technical failure, amazing politics and a numbing inertia. But that doesn't mean radioactive material will just slip out into the world. The new shelter, a €1.5 billion complex considered to be the largest work of movable architecture in the world, has been in the works for several years. More than 30 years on, scientists estimate the zone around the former plant will not be habitable for up to 20,000 years. It was designed to limit radioactive contamination of the environment following the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, by encasing the most dangerous area and protecting it from climate exposure. … More than 400000 m3 of concrete and 7,300 tonnes of metal framework were used during the erection of the sarcophagus. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, according to a previous Live Science report, 10 Times HBO's 'Chernobyl' Got the Science Wrong, 5 Weird Things You Didn't Know About Chernobyl, In Photos: World's 10 Most Polluted Places, 1st preserved dinosaur butthole is 'perfect' and 'unique,' paleontologist says, 1,500-year-old 'Christ, born of Mary' inscription discovered in Israel, Upward-shooting 'blue jet' lightning spotted from International Space Station, Massive new dinosaur might be the largest creature to ever roam Earth, Giant worms terrorized the ancient seafloor from hidden death traps, Ice covers the Sahara Desert for just 4th time in 50 years, Cancer vaccine helped keep melanoma under control for years in small study. The Object Shelter was never intended to be a permanent containment structure. As Correspondent Steve Kroft reports in this 60 Minutes Classic update, there are new concerns about how long the sarcophagus will last. 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