April 26 was the 31st anniversary of the massive and world-changing explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant’s Unit 4 reactor, back in 1986, which shifted how the world sees nuclear energy. In November of 2016, the power plant was permanently entombed in the world’s largest movable structure, a massive steel arch which was slid over the reactor. Every now and again a story comes along which, while not necessarily “news” or “current” is nevertheless of such interest that I can’t pass it by. My attention was drawn to a piece written by the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on April 26, marking the 31st anniversary of the catastrophic 1986 Chernobyl disaster.In the early 1990s, Batelle, operator of the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was part of an international consortium of groups and organizations looking for a long-term measure to safely confine the No. 4 reactor. Among the solutions, and the one to come to fruition, was the New Safe Confinement, the world’s largest movable structure. 843 feet (257 meters) across, 355 feet (108 meters) high, and 492 feet (150 meters) in length, the New Safe Confinement is roughly the size of two Manhattan blocks, and is tall enough to enclose the Statue of Liberty.The New Safe Confinement was moved into place in November of 2016, a 40,000 tonne structure that covers the reactor and the original concrete sarcophagus. The operation took several weeks.
Clean technica 28th April 2017 read more »