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Chernobyl sarcophagus as it is and plans for the future New Safe Confinement

The Chernobyl sarcophagus as it is and plans for the £600m future New Safe Confinement
Horses

Wildlife is thriving despite continued contamination

The sarcophagus encasing Chernobyl was built in haste and is crumbling. Despite strengthening work there are fears it could collapse, leading to the release of tonnes of radioactive dust.

Work is due to begin on a 600m replacement shelter designed to last 100 years. This New Safe Confinement will be built on site and then slid over the sarcophagus.

The shelter will allow the concrete structure to be dismantled and for the radioactive fuel and damaged reactor to be dealt with. The ends of the structure will be closed-off.

Despite the lasting contamination of the area, scientists have been surprised by the dramatic revival of its wildlife.

Wild horse, boar and wolf populations are thriving, while lynx have returned to the area and birds have nested in the reactor building without any obvious ill-effects.

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