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  • These concrete and steel structures will store tens of thousands of spent fuel rods—but only for 100 years. After that, new casks or a permanent underground storage site will be required. (Click on the image to rotate and view it from different angles.)


    View a photo gallery of the nuclear cleanup of Chernobyl.
  • Sustainable Energy

    Chernobyl Interactive Panoramas

    An up-close look at the continuing cleanup at Chernobyl.

    This is the control room where workers monitored the tests that led to an explosion in reactor number four.
    Outside reactor building four, you can see the supporting structure erected to keep the sarcophagus encasing the ruins from collapsing. Opposite that is the construction site of an enormous arched structure that will be pulled over the top of the sarcophagus, encasing it and allowing it and the ruins inside to be dismantled for permanent storage.
    Concrete pads will serve as foundations for 19 towers that will be used to erect a new containment structure big enough to enclose the Statue of Liberty. A total of 396 25-meter long tubes will be driven into the ground to support the structure.
    This story is part of our July/August 2011 Issue
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    Some 18,000 spent fuel assemblies are stored here—the metal plates conceal a deep pool that keeps the fuel assemblies cool.

    View a photo gallery of the nuclear cleanup of Chernobyl.

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