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New Safe Confinement for the Chernobyl sarcophagus, Pripiat, Ukraine

On 29 November 2016, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and VINCI Chairman and CEO Xavier Huillard were present as the new confinement was slid over the original sarcophagus built in haste after the nuclear reactor exploded on 4 April 1986. The confinement literally encloses the damaged reactor and the original sarcophagus, which was subject to steady cracking. Designed and built by Bouygues and VINCI, the NSC is the largest mobile metal arch ever constructed.

Its dimensions are mind-boggling: the dome is 108 metres high and 162 metres long and the metal frame weighs 36,000 tonnes, of which 25,000 tonnes of steel. Financed by 27 states, the European Union and the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), the project ultimately cost more than €1.5 billion and employed more than 2,000 people within the Novarka joint venture led by VINCI Construction Grands Projets.

Designed to withstand extreme conditions for 100 years

The outsized, technically extremely complex project is one-of-a-kind. Initiated in 2010, the project involved more than 17 million hours of construction work. The confinement is designed to last 100 years and to withstand temperatures ranging between -43°C and +45°C, a Class 3 tornado and an earthquake with a maximum intensity of 6 on the 12-degree Mercalli scale.