Chernobyl Arch

The Chernobyl Arch is a containment device for the damaged reactor No. 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine and its damaged sarcophagus, built in 1986. It is an arch-shaped metal structure 108 m high and 162 m wide with a span of 257 m. It is designed for a service life of one hundred years. Its construction should allow the dismantling of the power plant, which will take several decades, but no strategy had yet been decided in 2017.

The structure has three functions:

  1.    containment of radioactive materials;
  2.    the protection of the first degraded sarcophagus against climatic aggression;
  3.    the protection of workers on site; this second sarcophagus houses workshops designed to decontaminate, dismantle and package radioactive materials for future, safer storage.

The arch was put in place in November 2016, several years later than the initial project, which planned for commissioning in 2012. The arch itself was not fully completed until December 2018, and was not fully equipped until January 2019.