Chernobyl's giant New Safe Confinement (NSC) was moved over a distance of 327 meters from its assembly point to its final resting place, completely enclosing a previous makeshift shelter that was hastily assembled immediately after the 1986 accident.
The equipment in the New Safe Confinement will now be connected to the new technological building which will serve as a control room for future operations inside the arch. The New Safe Confinement will be sealed off from the environment hermetically. Finally, after intensive testing of all equipment and commissioning, handover of the New Safe Confinement to the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant administration is expected in November 2017.
Ihor Hramotkin, director-general of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, said: "We were not building this arch for ourselves. We were building it for our children, our grandchildren and for our great-grandchildren. This is our contribution to the future, in line with our responsibility for those who will come after us."
The Chornobyl arch is the largest moveable land-based structure ever built, with a span of 257 meters, a length of 162 meters, a height of 108 meters and a total weight of 36,000 tons equipped. It will make the accident site safe and with a lifetime of 100 years allow for the eventual dismantling of the ageing makeshift shelter from 1986 and the management of the radioactive waste.
The structure was built by Novarka, a consortium of the French construction firms VINCI Construction and Bouygues Construction. Works started in 2010. With a cost of €1.5 billion the giant structure is the most prominent element of the Shelter Implementation Plan for Chornobyl, which involved more than 300 projects and activities.
The €2.1 billion program is financed by the Chornobyl Shelter Fund. Established in 1997, the Fund has received more than € 1.5 billion from 45 donors to date. The EBRD manages the Fund and is the largest contributor to the New Safe Confinement project.