Progress on Chernobyl clean-up

It has been over 20 years since the meltdown of Chernobyl's nuclear reactor, the worst industrial accident in history, and work to clean up the site continues.

This week new contracts were signed to secure the future of decommissioning and containment at the site, marking the next phase of the Shelter Implementation Plan – the scheme of work which will eventually see the site made safe.

The UK’s Energy Minister, Malcolm Wicks, has welcomed the progress with marks the start of design and construction of the New Safe Confinement project, essentially a giant shell around the site, which, according to the minister, is the most significant step to date.

The project has been designed as a stabilising structure over the current site that will ensure a sealed environment preventing the incursion of water and snow while also protecting the outside environment against the release of radioactivity.

“Today marks the culmination of ten years work since the G8, EU and Ukraine Government reached agreement on the Shelter Implementation Plan,” said Mr Wicks.

‘The construction planned for the site represents an almost unparalleled engineering challenge.

“The UK is playing a leading role and, along with international partners, is committed to supporting long term plans for safely and securely decommissioning the destroyed reactor and addressing the ongoing challenges arising from the Chernobyl disaster.”

The UK has, so far, contributed around Euro 77m to international shelter and decommissioning funds, overseen by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

These funds will help deliver the Chernobyl plan.

Sam Bond

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie