A new structure built to confine the Chernobyl reactor at the centre of the worlds worst nuclear disaster was previewed for the media yesterday.
Reactor No. 4 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine exploded and burned April 26, 1986.
The complex construction effort to secure the molten reactors core and 200 tons of highly radioactive material has taken nine years to complete under the control of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
The structure itself cost £1.5 billion and the entire shelter project cost £2.2 billion.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development managed a fund with contributions from 45 countries, the European Union and £715 million in the banks own resources.
The shelter is the largest movable land-based structure ever built, with a span of 257 meters (843 feet) and a total weight of over 36,000 tonnes.
This was a very long project, said Balthasar Lindauer, director of the banks Nuclear Safety Department.
He noted that preliminary studies began in 1998 and the contract for the structure was placed in 2007.