Work on a huge shelter to contain the radioactivity at the site of the deadly Chernobyl nuclear disaster passed a “landmark” moment on Friday.
Effectively the New Safe Confinement NSC is a tough shell around the remains of the nuclear reactor in Ukraine which was destroyed in 1986.
It took a full day to successfully lift the second half to its full height of 110 metres, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) which runs the cash fund for the nuclear safety project.
Stretching to 260 metres long, 165 metres wide and weighing more than 30,000 tonnes, it resembles a huge aircraft hangar.
It will be strong enough to withstand a tornado, with a “sophisticated” ventilation system meant to “eliminate” the risk of corrosion so it can last at least 100 years, said the EBRD.
Vince Novak, EBRD Director for Nuclear Safety said: “This is a fantastic achievement which brings our project a big step forward. It is a result of impressive engineering and dedicated implementation on the ground where the works are proceeding at an excellent speed. This is only possible thanks to the continuous support of the donor community.”
The whole project is costing around €2.15 billion (£1.7bn) and building is set to be finished at the end of 2017.