The Chernobyl nuclear explosion was the biggest nuclear catastrophe of the 20th century. This ghost town around the nuclear facility was once home to some 120,000 people. Most of them suffered from radiation-caused illnesses, many died. Radiation level here jumped from 20 milliroentgens, which is considered normal, to above 600 milliroentgens next to the plant.
Nuclear explosion had left a 30-kilometer area around the Chernobyl plant uninhabitable. This still remains a hazardous place as radiation level jumps. 27 years after the tragedy a special steel sarcophagus has been designed to block this radiation spreading for the next one hundred years.
Sponsored by 28 countries, this sarcofacus is the biggest project to date. Engineer crews from France, Italy and Ukraine are working together at the 29,000 tons giant hangar-like casing that will cover destroyed nuclear reactor number 4.
Officials say the work is currently humming and half of the arch will be completed this spring. After the identical second half is made up, the two halves will be bolted together.
Some physicists, however, have criticized the idea saying that previous project of containment was designed in an orderly manner. They say the new confinement arch will barely prevent the radioactive dust spreading. The nuclear safety is unlikely to be ensured.
Many experts say the construction is being held solely for process rather than for danger prevention. They suggest officials and engineers to focus on the never-ending chemical process inside reactor. However, officials say the shelter is equipped with technology for monitoring both seismic activity and radiation levels pointing to the country’s promotion of nuclear power safe use.