How To Dismantle An Atomic Disaster

Photo: SSE ChNPP
Whenever looking at a photo from Chernobyl, it's there - the 75,5 meters tall, 9 meters wide stack of the fourth reactor's block, and constant reminder of the perhaps biggest distaster of human kind. But very soon it will be gone.

In the end of October the dismantling procedure, carried out by the Ukrtransbud Corporation, was initiated and the parts separated from the stack were temporarily resting in the turbine hall of block 3,  before  being transported to a specially prepared site where they will be taken apart. 

The reason behind this operation is the New Safe Confinement. The arch formed outer construction, under which the dismantling of the entire fourth block will take place, is being built on the side of the reactor building and will on railway tracks eventually be slid over said building and encase its radioactive content, and in order for that to work out, the stack naturally has to be removed. 

For those of you out there, who against most odds may not know about the New Safe Confinement (NSC, previously known as "The Shelter Project") it is being constructed to cover up the leaking Sarcophagus which started breaking apart only 10 years after having been built. Within the no longer overly protective walls of the Sarcophagus hides several tens of tons of radioactive waste being the result of the active fuel of the fourth reactor decaying. If the 2000 tons heavy reactor lid, now resting as a half closed eyelid on top of the reactor, would crash down as a consequence of not only the decaying of the Sarcophagus, but also the very building it contains, it would most likely lead to a collapse of the entire structures and those tens of tons of radioactive waste would all of the sudden lay open to be swept away by the winds in all possible directions. However, the NSF can not do anything about the radioactivity other than preventing it from being spread further. 

Dismantled stack parts. Photo: SSE ChNPP.
During the dismantling of the stack of the fourth unit, frequent monitoring of radiation levels are performed and the entire dismantling work is calculated to be done by the 10th of December this year.

The news concerning the initiated dismantling have been greeted in different ways. Many draws a sigh of relieve, reassured that there will be something covering up all that radioactive matter, whilst others belive that it's all just a curtain to cover up the disaster itself, but the question is whether it at all is possible to forget, or even ignore, such a breakdown as that of Chernobyl; one that will affect parts of the world for hundreds, even thousands (Plutonium-239 has a half life of 24,100 years, remember) of years to come?

No it isn't. It's easier to forget those who helped preventing it becoming an even greater disaster ...isn't it?

2 kommentarer:

  1. I am surprised it took me this long to find this blog, being as obsessive as I am over Chernobyl, but rest assured that some of us that have been to the Zone have done so for the right reasons, and have been sure to try and educate those around them.

    I am aware this blog may be dying, but I am reading through it voraciously all the same, and am glad I am not the only person who will not forget such a thing.

    It is also good to finally read something that is not glamourising the subject, and also one that is so in-depth at the same time. I am also surprised at how your research mirrors my own, although it seems you have had much greater success than myself.

    As surprised as I am that you missed Aborym in your "popular culture" section, I am surprised I also missed "Reaktor 4" myself. I keep on finding things in here that I am surprised I have not found, and have left my contact so I may talk with you further, if you would, about Chernobyl in general, charities, fundraising, art, history...the whole thing, really.

    I am also interested in your exhibit, which I am annoyed I missed, as I would gladly have spent the expense to come over. Is it likely to re-occur?

    I could talk forever right now, not least due to EDF being at the forefront of my friend's thoughts, so maybe I should stop and just keep reading here. I hope to hear from you in the future, but if not, I am very glad to have learnt something more, and to know that I am not alone in keeping watch and raising hell about it when necessary.

  2. Thank you for your message - I'm very glad to discover that there are others out there sharing a serious interest in this subject and that you've found good use for my texts.

    Neither the blog nor my project is dying, but it moves slower now as it's become more difficult to find something I haven't already researched (however, there are a few things I just haven't written about yet. For example the animal and plant life in the zone, but concerning the latter I want to go there and study it for myself, which may show to be difficult as the forest areas are highly irradiated. The evacuees of Pripyat is also a subject that needs a bit of digging) . It's important for me to keep this project alive - especially as there are many still alive who were directly affected by the disaster; people who are now being ignored by their own country. Recently I learnt that it means much for them too, that there still are people who won't forget.

    Concerning Aborym, I must confess I don't know anything about them (I guess it's a band) but if I would have known I would probably have included them in the text.

    The exhibition, in the form that was, is not likely to reoccur, but hopefully I'll be able to do another one in the future, and if so I'll make sure to let you know.

    I'm very interested in taking part of your research as well, and to talk further about this all. There is much to talk about, so expect a PM soon.