Chernobyl sarcophagus repairs, 2006

Chernobyl sarcophagus repairs, 2006

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Credit: SPUTNIK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Chernobyl sarcophagus repairs. Workers on scaffolding inspecting and repairing the concrete sarcophagus that was built to encase the Unit 4 nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, near the city of Chernobyl, in the Ukraine. This work is taking place in December 2006, twenty years after the nuclear disaster that took place here in 1986. The unit four reactor at the power plant went into meltdown. The subsequent explosion and fire contaminated large areas of Europe with radioactive fallout, and required the surrounding area to be evacuated. The sarcophagus was designed to contain the worst of the radiation, but twenty years later is in poor condition. There are plans to build a longer-lasting structure to replace it.

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