“Construction of the steel structure is nearing the end. We are confident that all works will be completed by the end of 2017 on schedule,” EBRD nuclear safety director Vince Novak told RIA Novosti.
Bouygues and Vinci, part of the French-led Novarka consortium, are working on a “sarcophagus” measuring 656 feet by 623 feet. Novarka took on the New Safe Confinement (NSC) known as the “Shelter Object 2” late in 2007.
The $1.5-billion NSC was initially expected to be completed this year but postponed due to funding gaps.
The new casing project is intended to cover the existing “Shelter Object” concrete dome built following the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl disaster that saw one of its four nuclear reactors explode.
A Bouygues representative told RIA Novosti the 30-story arch would arrive at Chernobyl disassembled and would be installed over the fourth nuclear reactor in the fall of 2016.
The construction exceeds the Stade de France national stadium in size and weighs five times more than the Eiffel Tower.
In addition to a state-of-the-art frame and auxiliary structures, the NSC is expected to be lined with special padding to protect the environment from the crumbling Shelter Object. The NSC will also be equipped with high-tech ventilation, as well as temperature and humidity regulation systems.
The new structure is part of the $2.4-billion Chernobyl Shelter Fund’s Shelter Implementation Plan. EBRD has assumed responsibility for managing the plan.