Ukraine to Build New Sarcophagus Over Chernobyl Reactor

KIEV, Ukraine -- The construction of a new sarcophagus over the reactor of Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear power plant will be begun in one and a half years, Ukrainian Emergency Situations Minister David Zhvania said.

“There is no danger that the facility Shelter that we have at present can destroy and a catastrophe can happen. There can be no such thing, this is excluded,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

Existing Chernobyl Sarcophagus

The new facility that is to bury the reactor that exploded on April 26, 1986, for 100 years will be 257 meters long, 150 meters broad and 108 meters high.

In late April, Ukraine called on the work community to come with more substantial technical and financial assistance for overcoming the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear accident, in particular increasing donations to the Shelter Foundation, as donor countries had promised.

Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Minister Ivan Plachkov said Ukraine needs increasing the bankrolling of the Shelter Foundation from 758 million dollars to 1.1 billion dollars.

The plan of action at the Shelter facility includes 93 contracts worth 326 million dollars, 241 million of which have been spent since the beginning of the shelter construction, Plachkov said.

The US promised to issue 45 million dollars and G-7 countries 160 million dollars to the Shelter Foundation.

Russia will contribute five million dollars in 2005 and five million in 2006

Source: ITAR-Tass