Workers evacuated as Chernobyl roof collapses

Around 80 workers at the nuclear power plant Chernobyl (pictured) in Ukraine were evacuated when part of a roof collapsed earlier this week. Work is underway to build a huge […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Around 80 workers at the nuclear power plant Chernobyl (pictured) in Ukraine were evacuated when part of a roof collapsed earlier this week.

Work is underway to build a huge new cover for the reactor around the existing shelter known as the “sarcophagus” which currently contains the radiation.

Ukrainian officials tried to quell fears that radiation levels might be affected, after heavy snowfall was said to have forced a 600 square metre sized part of the roof – over one of the turbine halls on the fourth power block – to fall.

A spokeswoman for the Chernobyl plant told AP news agency: “Everybody should be absolutely calm. Yes, it is unpleasant, but there is no danger.”

The power plant exploded in 1986, causing radioactive material to be blown into the air, instantly killing two plant operators. A further 28 workers died from acute radiation poisoning within a month, according to the World Nuclear Association.