Thanks.". Gamma rays, like X-rays are made of high-energy photons and can travel long distances. Man, women, the elderly, and children were all in the sadistic killer's sights. Because of the enormous size that they had envisioned, they wanted some verification that it was possible. NARRATOR: Now engineers can start tests on the full-scale crane. If they wait until the arch is in position, then, as they close it, it would jam on a chimney. To push the arch, engineers will fit each leg with hydraulic pistons. NARRATOR: It appears that, thanks to the absence of humans, some animals are thriving in the exclusion zone. Everything's ready? To solve this problem, they're engineering the steel to be inside a special climate-controlled environment. A 60-minute version of the film, produced by Windfall Films (part of Argonon) for BBC Four in association with NOVA/WGBH, PBS Distribution, and France Television, NHK and … It's very sad. Every year, we're becoming fewer and fewer. 17.3m members in the Documentaries community. NARRATOR: Today, in the heart of Ukraine, an extraordinary race is underway, to construct a one-and-a-half-billion dollar megadome. They will mount them on two concrete runways that extend alongside the crumbling sarcophagus. This program was produced by WGBH, which is solely responsible for its content. NARRATOR: It will take 40 huge jacks to raise this metal monster. Building Chernobyl's MegaTomb. They must partially lower one of the tilting panels. Powerful pumps will then extend the pistons, to push the arch forward. NARRATOR: This is the critical maneuver everyone has been working towards for seven years. NARRATOR: Moving this massive structure will be no simple task. But 30 years later, the sarcophagus is crumbling, and another disaster at Chernobyl looms. It's a great challenge because of the size. You get so much data you have to act correctly and quickly. This documentary examines the crimes of David Parker Ray (November 6, 1939 – May 28, 2002), who was charged with kidnapping, raping and torturing women in a small New Mexico town. Storing nuclear waste has challenges of its own, and this ambitious plan for the future has yet to be entirely mapped out. The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers. We are under pressure. In 1986 the Chernobyl nuclear reactor exploded releasing 400 times more radiation than the Hiroshima bomb it was officially the worlds worst nuclear disaster. But then they will face a problem that bedevils the entire nuclear industry: Today, more than 30 years after the Chernobyl disaster, the 19-mile exclusion zone around the reactor is still a restricted area. MIKE WOOD: So, we can see that we've got an elk here and wild boar, as well. The reactor design was flawed, and the test caused it to run out of control, resulting in a massive steam explosion. NARRATOR: Today, inside the old sarcophagus, 95 percent of the uranium that was in the reactor before the explosion lies scattered and exposed. So, we have to tilt it before, and then we can restart to the end and finish it tonight. Baptiste Briois is the engineer in charge. NICOLAS CAILLE: It will be a complicated task. To make sure they don't twist the arch, lasers measure the exact position of both sides and display any difference on screens in the control room. NARRATOR: With the wire removed, there's one last task before the final push. BJORN-EVERT VAN ECK RASMUSSEN (Engineer): That's going to be very tight, that's for sure. Engineers must now battle to prevent another escape of deadly radiation all whilst fighting freezing weather and lethal radiation. To this day nobody really kn... What happens to nature after a nuclear accident? It simply stood on the ruins of the destroyed reactor. The right half of this building contains the reactor that exploded. Over the next six months, workers braved extreme radiation to seal the reactor inside a 300,000-ton shelter, made from steel and concrete. NARRATOR: The dosimeters ensure no worker receives more than their annual permitted dose of radiation, so, every aspect of the construction must be designed with this in mind, including the arches. Inside Chernobyl's Mega Tomb. Four-and-a-half years after work began, to build the 40,000-ton shelter, the day finally arrives when the team will attempt to slide it over the reactor. NICOLAS GUILCHER (Radiation Protection Engineer at Novarka): You can see, here, the reactor Number 4, which was damaged in ‘86, and at about 200 meters from the reactor, the platform where the arch will be built. This low-friction surface will help the stainless steel feet of the arch to slide. If the sarcophagus collapses before the arch is in place, the fallout would contaminate the arch and the whole worksite. NARRATOR: Rob is testing a quarter-scale model of the remote-controlled crane that will be installed inside the new shelter. In Shoreview, Minnesota, Rob Owen leads the team building a special remote-control crane to dismantle the reactor. The job will take decades, and this creates another major design challenge for the engineers building the arch. The Chernobyl disaster of 1986 resulted in a radioactive fallout which was 100 times greater than a nuclear bomb. reading of the location of the camera, and then we can use handheld G.P.S., like this, to be able to find the cameras again, and then come and see what it's recorded. The ducts will constantly recirculate the dry air to make sure that the atmosphere in the enclosure remains dry, so the steelwork doesn't rust. Two-thousand tons of force pushes against the arch. Thirty years on, ecologist Mike Wood is investigating what types of animals live in the zone and if the levels of radiation affect where they live. PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY Martin Gorst EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Carlo Massarella EDITED BY Paul Shepard NARRATOR Eric Meyers LOCATION FILMING Peter Fison Justin Ingham Roshan Samarasinghe Mat Stimpson LOCATION DIRECTORS Alex Tate Gwyn Williams FIXERS Dmytro Kolchynsky Anatolii Kuksa Taras Shumeyko ASSISTANT PRODUCERS Emma Houghton-Brown Katie Reisz PRODUCTION MANAGERS Mel Moore Vicky Newman Sara Revell Pete Youens GRAPHICS Fluid Pictures ONLINE EDITORS Paul Goodman Barrie Pease COLORISTS Vicki Matich Paul Fallon AUDIO MIX Andy Hodges Bob Jackson EDIT ASSISTANT Philip Michael ARCHIVAL MATERIAL AP EBRD / Novarka IRSN Kaleidoscope KBJR Metro News 6 Sergei Koshelev Telecon Videoplugger SPECIAL THANKS Bechtel Professor Stuart Burgess ChNPP Laurin Dodd European Bank for Reconstruction & Development Dr. Alan Flowers Mac McNeil Mammoet FOR WINDFALL FILMS HEAD OF PRODUCTION Birte Pedersen HEAD OF DEVELOPMENT Leesa Rumley PRODUCTION ACCOUNTANT Sue Harvard NOVA SERIES GRAPHICS yU + co. NOVA THEME MUSIC Walter Werzowa John Luker Musikvergnuegen, Inc. ADDITIONAL NOVA THEME MUSIC Ray Loring Rob Morsberger CLOSED CAPTIONING The Caption Center POST PRODUCTION ONLINE EDITOR Spencer Gentry DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS Jennifer Welsh PUBLICITY Eileen Campion Eddie Ward RESEARCH Ana Aceves SENIOR SCIENCE RESEARCHER Caitlin Saks NOVA ADMINISTRATOR Anne Barleon PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Linda Callahan DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL AUDIENCE RESEARCH Cory Allen PARALEGAL Sarah Erlandson TALENT RELATIONS Janice Flood LEGAL COUNSEL Susan Rosen DIGITAL MANAGING PRODUCER Kristine Allington SENIOR DIGITAL EDITOR Tim De Chant DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL MEDIA Lauren Aguirre RIGHTS MANAGER Lauren Miller POST PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Brittany Flynn SUPERVISING PRODUCER Kevin Young POST PRODUCTION EDITOR Michael H. Amundson BROADCAST MANAGER Nathan Gunner BUSINESS MANAGER Ariam McCrary DEVELOPMENT PRODUCER David Condon PROJECT DIRECTOR Pamela Rosenstein COORDINATING PRODUCER Elizabeth Benjes SENIOR SCIENCE EDITOR Evan Hadingham SENIOR PRODUCER Chris Schmidt SENIOR SERIES PRODUCER Melanie Wallace DIRECTOR, BUSINESS OPERATIONS & FINANCE Laurie Cahalane DEPUTY EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Julia Cort SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Paula S. Apsell, A NOVA production by Windfall Films Ltd. (part of the Argonon Group) for NOVA/WGBH Boston in association with the BBC, and France Television, NHK, and N24. NARRATOR: But just as the crane lifts off, they hit a glitch. Executive Producer is Windfall Films’ Creative Director, Carlo Massarella. IAN CARLING: This cladding, it's stainless steel, and it is designed for the purpose of containing any airborne contaminated particles from escaping into the environment, during the dismantling of the reactor Number 4. Trying to make connections with people who are in different ways living on the, The Great Wall of China, it's been studied for decades but now new technology is revealing its secrets like never before. Don't stop. So, yes, we have to be very, very careful. We have a lot of watchmen, because our clearance is very limited. Transcript. ROB OWEN: The first work that we did was actually doing some studies of the telescoping tube. And as it gets exposed, the level of radiation will get much, much higher than it is today. They are heading to Chernobyl, in North Central Ukraine, once part of the Soviet Union. Advertisement They operate the panels remotely from a platform on one side of the arch. I mean, as I'm French, I take the example of the Eiffel Tower, which is repainted every seven to 10 years. NARRATOR: Mike is setting up camera traps in three different areas, places with high, medium and low radioactive contamination. Radiation makes the job too dangerous to do by hand, so the workers must rely on tools operated at a distance. Viktor Ivkin was working at the reactor that night. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. They drafted 350,000 people to clean up the radioactive fallout. And, basically, if you put a lot of them, you make your own sliding way for the skid shoes to slide on. JEAN-PHILIPPE GARDEUR: Okay, guys, so we will start the jacking now. We do know that a zone of deadly radiation has been released. NARRATOR: A special unit of 50 people checks the daily amount of radiation every construction worker receives. tl;dw. NICOLAS CAILLE: They received, probably, 200 different ideas. You can imagine a sail in the air, and the material is razor sharp. No one wants a repeat of this disaster. Battling arctic winter weather—and lethal radiation—this is the inside story of the epic race to build Chernobyl’s MegaTomb. Could we make it big enough? Home › Off Topic VIKTOR IVKIN: (Translation) Many of the chaps from that shift died. Eighty, ninety people will be involved. IAN CARLING: The biggest problem we have is the weather. New documentaries straight to your inbox. Before engineers slide the arch over the reactor, they must install them and the carriage that will carry the robotic arm. The radiation here is high, so they must act fast. Thirty workers died, 50,000 people fled the nearest city and radioactive fallout turned an area larger than Lancashire in the United Kingdom into a no go zone. But the site is still too radioactive for builders to construct a new cover directly over the old reactor. It will be the largest structure ever moved across land. VOICE MAN #1 IN CONTROL ROOM: We have the confirmation that we are ready. In 1986, in the heart of Ukraine, the Chernobyl nuclear reactor exploded, releasing 400 times more radiation than the Hiroshima Bomb. Your email address will not be published. NICOLAS CAILLE: It's a feeling of pride. The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will host the screening of the documentary film "Inside Chernobyl’s Mega-Tomb" on Thursday 9th February 2017. IAN CARLING: Some of the materials that we're using, they can act like&hellipa; kite, if you like. In time, like any building, the arch would eventually collapse, and a future generation would need to build another, even bigger structure to keep the reactor safe. Inside the damaged reactor building, Simon's team wears masks to protect them from inhaling radioactive dust. The Film. Extreme Engineering - Inside Chernobyl's Mega Tomb. GUILLAUME MOREL (General Methods Coordinator): People will follow the sliding, itself, of the arch. People described how it had a funny taste and a strange odour. The only solution is to build the new shelter to the side of the reactor and slide it into position. All the cables remain in tension. NARRATOR: Success. Its job: to entomb the crumbling remains of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. In spring, 2012, workers start to assemble the steel tubing that will form the giant skeleton of the arch. National corporate funding for NOVA is provided by Draper. NIKOLAI STEINBERG: So, when we completed the sarcophagus we made the decision that the real lifetime of the sarcophagus should be no more than 30 years. It came to be called the "sarcophagus.". More than 200 pistons must work in perfect unison to slowly slide the arch towards the reactor. They told us that if we were exposed to the level of 10 roentgens, we would be honorably discharged. Even if all goes well, it will still take six long days. The radioactive material inside the reactor will remain dangerous for at least 20,000 years. To prevent one, it's essential the arch is completed as quickly as possible. ROB OWEN: The fuel that was there is still there, but when they start to dismantle the sarcophagus, you're going to expose that fuel. We know that it's way beyond its design life. Find out when Inside Chernobyl's Mega Tomb is on TV. INTERVIEWER: What could go wrong during the skidding? The configuration of the wires is crucial. Related Documentaries. NARRATOR: Each jack has enough power to lift over two loaded jumbo jets. Some of these, pass through the reactor walls and stream out into the surrounding space. NARRATOR: It takes four hours to winch the massive "cat door" open. It would undo the years of work spent cleaning up the area, a process which began immediately after the accident and that came with a heavy loss. Inside Chernobyl’s Mega Tomb will air on Wednesday 21st December, 9pm, on BBC Four. 1.0k votes, 73 comments. The solution was to replace the tube with a platform supported on wires. NARRATOR: The roofers are all trained rope-access technicians, but the dangerous conditions here require both skill and absolute concentration. I am also thinking of myself. The doc will air on BBC4 this month and in spring 2017 on PBS in the US. NARRATOR: The panel clears the chimney and the final push begins. Episode guide, trailer, review, preview, cast list and where to stream it on demand, on catch up and download. NARRATOR: Once the shelter has been moved into position over the old reactor, this crane, yet to be fitted with its robotic arm, will start dismantling the ruins of the Chernobyl reactor. That's more than 30 stories high. But if the weight on the platform is heavy enough, all the wires will stay tight, and the platform will remain rigid enough to hold the robot arm that will dismantle the sarcophagus. DAVID DRISCOLL (Health and Safety Manager): We provide everybody with dosimeters. NARRATOR: For the engineers, this is the last chance to make sure everything works. Inside Chernobyl's Mega Tomb Documentary which follows the construction of a trailblazing 36,000-tonne steel structure to entomb the ruins of the nuclear power plant destroyed in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. We remember the place as clean, beautiful and bright. NARRATOR: But just as the arch approaches the reactor, they run into trouble. NARRATOR: But the siding here, known as cladding, has another important job. So, instead of wheels, engineers will use a hundred-and-sixteen stainless steel feet, known as skid shoes. But parts of the old sarcophagus stick out, which would prevent the arch from sliding to its final position. The threat of China is becoming big news, the media is beating the drums of war as the world is being primed to regard China as a new enemy. Now, they are building a facility here for storing radioactive fuel and waste from the reactors at Chernobyl and from other plants in Ukraine. BAPTISTE BRIOIS: It was very quick. 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