"Russian aggression had undermined the trust of non-nuclear governments in the non-proliferation of these weapons, and threatened the repeat of a nuclear catastrophe in our country."
"[Ukraine would] neither today, nor tomorrow [halt nuclear reactors providing power for Ukraine in reflection of its vital need for energy independence from Russian gas]."
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko
|The arch, though, is a formidable structure, said Vince Novak, the director of nuclear safety for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which administers the project’s financing. If necessary, he said, “it might be able to last 300 years or more.”|
Addressing his country on the 30th anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power explosion and meltdown, President Poroshenko spoke of Moscow's support for ethnic Russian Ukrainian separatists in the eastern Ukraine, and the potential threat of a repeat of the catastrophe that might have ensued during the course of its actions there. The domination of the Soviet past was revisited on an unwilling Ukraine by its former nemesis.
It has taken thirty years, but finally the international efforts to seal the remains of the exploded nuclear reactor No.4 is close to completion. The immense dome meant to seal the reactor was the setting for Mr. Poroshenko's speech to his nation. He made note of the fact that fighting between the military and the insurgents had occurred a mere several hundred kilometres from the city of Zapaorozhiye where the nuclear power plant stood.
The New Safe Confinement structure is meant to contain the radiation from the worst nuclear catastrophe in a century, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, leading the project. And when that giant deadly tomb is finally sealed, the international community will withdraw, leaving destitute Ukraine to fend for itself in managing future nuclear waste disposal.
"By the time we were evacuated, we had been exposed for 36 hours. My entire family has been affected by this. We are all sick. My daughter, my son, my husband and me", stated Nadiya Makyrevych, a survivor of the catastrophe who lived with her family in the town of Pripyat, where there were no warning sirens installed in the town, and it took Soviet authorities quite some time to alert residents even as a radioactive cloud rose over Eastern Europe.
Even then, there was no word of the sheer magnitude of the nuclear event that tore apart peaceful life in the area, making the area unsafe for human habitation for generations while authorities sat on the botched experiment at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The wrecked reactor No. 4 along with the initial protective "sarcophagus" that had been installed in 1986, are set to be sealed by an immense 35-storey arched dome, wheeled into permanent place, next year.
Once sealed, robotic cranes within the structure will be programmed to disassemble the destroyred reactor. The disposal of a thick, lava-like mass filled with uranium will complete the dismantling and neutralization of the reactor. As long as all goes as planned.