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 A venticinque anni dalla catastrofe di Chernobyl il sarcofago che dovrebbe seppellire per sempre il reattore numero quattro deve essere ancora completato. Lo sará insieme con il nuovo impianto di stoccaggio per le scorie radioattive  entro il 2015 grazie al Chernobyl Shelter Fund, progetto finanziato non solo dall’Europa, ma da una trentina di Paesi, dagli Stati Uniti alla Germania, dalla Francia al Giappone per coprire i costi che vanno oltre il miliardo e mezzo di euro. Anche l'Italia ha contribuito fino a ora con oltre 40 milioni di euro. Il 26 aprile cade l’anniversario della tragedia di Chernobyl, che colpì Ucraina, Bielorussia e Russia.


Facts and Figures from


New Safe Confinement

1. Key technical facts

Arch span: 257m

Height: 105m (equivalent to a 30 storey-building or big enough to house the Statue of Liberty)

Length covered: 150m (almost two football pitches)

Metal framework: 29,000 t (almost three times the weight of the Eiffel Tower)

Life expectancy of the confinement: 100 years

Contractor: Novarka

The arch frame is a huge lattice construction of tubular steel members built on two longitudinal concrete beams. In order to reduce radiological exposure to the workforce, the arch will be assembled 250 metres to the west of the destroyed reactor and eventually slid into position over the existing sarcophagus. Inside, the New Safe Confinement will be equipped with fully-automated cranes and other equipment for deconstruction and other weight lifting and displacing operations.

2. Cost

The final cost of the Shelter Implementation Plan is currently estimated at €1.54 billion (including contingency and escalation). The New Safe Confinement will cost about two thirds of the total cost of the Shelter Implementation Plan.

3. Finalisation

According to the last review the project should be completed by mid-2014.

Spent Fuel Storage Facility

1. Key technical facts

The facility will provide dry storage for the more than 20,000 spent fuel assemblies from the operation of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant for a period of at least 100 years. The project will use existing concrete storage modules and a building for the processing of the assemblies. Processing will include cutting, drying and fitting of spent fuel into storage containers.

Contractor: Holtec International

2. Cost

€250 million

3. Finalisation

The project will be completed in 2014/2015, though the delivery of casks for the spent fuel storage will continue for two to three years after that, since they are not all required at the same time.

Shelter Implementation Plan

Designed by international and Ukrainian experts in 1997, the Shelter Implementation Plan (SIP) devises a step by step strategy to convert the site of the 1986 accident and the increasingly unstable sarcophagus over reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant into an environmentally safe and secure condition. The SIP includes a technical strategy and conceptual design definition with an associated schedule and planning budget. The plan outlines a course of action to accomplish five objectives and identified 22 primary tasks which were further divided into 297 activities. The core and biggest single project is the New Safe Confinement. The SIP was endorsed by Ukraine, the EU and the G7 in 1997. Subsequently, the Chernobyl Shelter Fund under administration of the EBRD was set up and charged with the implementation.