Chernobyl officials stole radioactive pipes

On the 2nd of June 2011 it was made public that three Chernobyl officials have been arrested for stealing contaminated material from the Shelter area of the Nuclear Power Plant.  [The Shelter is the project name of the "2nd sarcophagus" which is planned to be built to cover the old, decaying protection of Reactor 4.]

By using false documents, the officials were able to get into the area and collect the materials;  approximately 24 tons of pipes, cupper/nickel alloy  worth over 1 million Ukrainian hryvnia ($125.000). According to Ukrainian law; the 2nd part of article 366 (forgery of service) and the 2nd part of article 262 (theft of radioactive material) the three thieves are now convicted and have been sentenced to 5 years of prison (and a probation time of 2 years). The contaminated pipes have been returned to be stored as radioactive waste. 

Sources: Lenta.ru and UNIAN

All over the world, metal is being stolen for it's value these days; Ukraine is certainly no exception and obviously not even the Chernobyl zone, as has previously been stated in my own reports

What I haven't yet mentioned to you here, is that I with my own eyes, on our last day in the zone, got to witness an operation of metal removal. This was going on in a building near the 5th reactor block, where a hangar was being deprived of its metal interiors. Whether this was an official project or not, I cannot say, but in the case of the theft of contaminated goods, we may look at a recurring problem of the future.

Left: Chernobyl worker welding off a metal ladder in a building close to reactor block 5.

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