KIEV, September 18 (RIA Novosti) – Maintenance of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, costs Ukraine some 50 million euros ($66.7 million) a year, the station’s head said Wednesday.
The plant’s director Igor Gramotkin told reporters that even since the plant stopped operating, maintenance work has continued to keep the area safe and shut down the reactors, Ukraine’s Unian news agency reported.
The Chernobyl disaster occurred on April 26, 1986, when one of its four nuclear reactors exploded. The last of the other three reactors was shut down in 2000.
A new containment structure – the New Safe Confinement (NSC) – sponsored by the international community is now under construction at the explosion site.
“I am sure that within the next two years it [the NSC] will be in place,” Gramotkin told reporters.
“And then the most difficult part begins, which unfortunately falls on Ukraine,” he added, according to the news report.
When the new enclosure is set up, work will be carried out to take down unstable older constructions and remove fuel-containing material from inside the original covering structure.