In the 25 years since the explosion at Chernobyl, it’s been a constant struggle to confine radioactive materials at the site. After years of ad hoc efforts, work has started on a massive $2 billion structure designed to seal the site for 100 years. The ruins will be dismantled with remote-controlled equipment, preparing them for permanent storage at a future site. Technology Review looks at what it takes to clean up a nuclear disaster over the years.
The French consortium Novarka will construct a 100-meter-tall structure near the ruined reactor building (in background), then slide it over the building to encase it. The rebar cage in the foreground will form the basis for a concrete foundation that will support one of 19 towers used to lift prefabricated parts into place during construction of the containment building.