Last Wednesday, July 10, over the fourth power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, injured in an explosion in 1986, work was completed on the installation of a new protective structure. At the same time, the President of Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky, signed a decree on the creation of a “green corridor” for tourists and researchers to visit the exclusion zone.
On July 10, the European Union officially handed over to Ukraine a new permanent sarcophagus, installed over the fourth power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Dozens of countries participated in the construction of the protective structure. Now Ukraine will be responsible for maintaining the construction and dismantling the first sarcophagus, built immediately after the accident of the 86th year.
The development of the construction took more than 20 years (the actual construction took 9 years) and 1.5 billion euros. As a result, the new sarcophagus for the Chernobyl nuclear power plant has become the world's largest mobile metalwork. Its dimensions are 165 m long, 260 m wide and 110 m high. During the manufacture more than 15,300 tons of high-quality metal were used. Because of the huge size, it had to be created in two parts, which were then connected to each other using 224 hydraulic jacks. According to preliminary estimates, the new defense should last at least 100 years.
Along with the opening of the new sarcophagus, President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky announced the partial lifting of the bans on visiting the Chernobyl zone for the purpose of tourism and research. To this end, new tourist routes will be laid, including on water. There will be more PPC, and the old will be upgraded. In the zone, mobile communications will be improved and videotaping will be allowed.
Alexander Uvarov, an independent Russian expert in the nuclear power industry and head of the Atominfo information and analytical portal, told reporters from TASS about the opening of the Chernobyl tourism zone. According to him, this process should not be uncontrolled. The stay of people in this area requires increased security measures.
“There is nothing terrible in the fact that the Ukrainian authorities plan to expand the flow of tourists to the Chernobyl zone. It is worth recalling that in this territory people have been living for many years and everything is in order. But the presence of tourists in the territory of the zone should be strictly regulated and constantly controlled, ”said Alexander Uvarov.