Chornobyl Could Be ‘One Of A Kind’ Research Laboratory: Leading Engineer
15 December, 2016

What You Need To Know:

 The Chornobyl Exclusion Zone could be revitalized to become a hub for engineering, energy, and research

✅  Top Chornobyl Engineer: ‘We look at the challenge from a physiological aspect. We went through a disaster’

✅  ‘We still must decide what to do with the unstable structures and radioactive waste under the new Chornobyl arch’

✅  ‘The cost of the new Chornobyl Nuclear Plant sarcophagus is much less than the price we paid in money and lives’

✅  This week, Ukrainians honored thousands of workers who dealt with the immediate aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster

✅  The new €1.4 billion ‘arch’ weighs 36,000 tons and is said to be the world’s biggest moving construction

The Chornobyl Exclusion Zone can be revived to become a hub for scientific research and alternative energy. That’s the opinion of Vitalii Demianiuk, a Supervisory Board Member at the Chornobyl Research and Development Institute. He says the approach to solving the challenges at the site must be approached with a ‘physiological aspect’.

We went through disaster and tragedy but now we need to think of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone as a territory which we can revitalize, where we can develop different activities including handling, storing , disposing (and) processing radioactive materials, activities linked with alternative energy and there will be some sort of biosphere there.”, Mr. Demianiuk says.

Over 30 years ago, an explosion at Reactor Four sent deadly clouds of smoldering nuclear material across Europe. Finally, in December 2016, a massive new sarcophagus weighing 36,000 tons and tall enough to house London’s St Paul’s Cathedral was moved into place above the remains of the Chornobyl power plant. The new protective arch was built by Ukrainian engineers along with experts from 28 other countries and is designed to protect the surrounding area from radiation for the next 100 years.

Asked about the total impact of the Chornobyl disaster, Mr. Demianiuk said;

“You know we have different calculations (and) different experts have made their own assessment. But I think the Chornobyl disaster, the tragedy that happened, took a lot of money and lives and this money is much much bigger than we and the international community spend on the new safe confinement.”

Now final proposals are being made for the next stage; how to deal with the old protective cover. Different scenarios, timeframes and cost estimates are being drawn up. However, engineers say the unstable structure means dismantling or securing it are the main options.

December 14 in Ukraine is dedicated to the thousands of emergency service workers, firefighters and others who dealt with the immediate aftermath of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant disaster. President Petro Poroshenko and other top officials took part in a ceremony to honor those who died.