A giant arch, intended to cover radioactive waste from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, began today to be put in place to protect future generations.

© Reuters
© Reuters

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the main sponsor of the project, is due to complete the installation on 29 March, representing a total cost of € 1.5 billion.

At least 30 people died at the scene of the crash in Ukraine, as of today a Soviet republic, but the largest human-caused accident has killed thousands of people due to radiation, which has hit vast areas of the western part of the former Soviet Union.

The reactor number 04 exploded on April 26, 1986, during a security check that went very badly, and the accident was concealed by the Kremlin authorities for weeks.

“The commencement of the laying of the bow on reactor 04 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is the beginning of the end of a 30-year struggle with the aftermath of the 1986 disaster,” said Ukrainian Environment Minister Ostap Semerak.

The reactor is currently protected by a cement sarcophagus that was built by Russian relief workers and is in danger of allowing toxic waste to escape.

According to the bank, the bow is “one of the most ambitious projects in the history of engineering.”

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