Did you know that one of the largest moveable structures ever assembled is being created in Ukraine over the next four years?  That it will cost around Euro 1.54 billion?  And that the aim is to reduce the risk of radiation escaping from Chornobyl’s damaged Reactor Number 4?

The “New Safe Confinement Project” at Chornobyl is civil engineering on a massive scale.  When I visited Chornobyl recently to mark the start of construction of a store for spent radiological sources (SRS) funded by the UK, I took the opportunity to visit the New Safe Confinement Project.  I won’t go into too much details as you can read all about it here and here; but some key statistics include: the fact that it will be 105m high – equivalent to a 30-storey building and tall enough to slide over the Statue of Liberty, the arch will span 257m, it will be equivalent in length to two football pitches and that it will weigh almost 3 times as much as the Eiffel Tower.  

The key point about the New Safe Confinement Project is that in order to complete the work by 2015 a huge amount of work will need to be done to tight timetables.  That will mean not only the contractors making every effort they can; but also the Ukrainian authorities ensuring that the contractors have everything they need in the way of building permissions and cooperation.  I wish all concerned the best of luck and look forward to visiting the site again to see how much progress has been made on this world-class, super-scale project.

Leigh Turner


Ukrayinska Dumka


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