[ARROW] Sarcophagus
Even after the fire had been extinguished, radioactive particles were still escaping from the reactor core itself. The Soviets realized that they would need to contain this and prevent further environmental damage. They devised a plan to cover the entir e reactor with a shell that was to be able to exist forever. The shell was deemed the Sarcophagus. The sarcophagus was to be completed in time for Reactor No. 2 to be put back into service. Behind schedule, two of the reactors were restarted b efore the completion of the massive tomb, because "economic needs came uppermost," a startling example of Soviet priorities. [21]

Picture-1 The destroyed Reactor No. 4 at Chernobyl isolated from the environment with steel and concrete ("The Sarcophagus").
[The Sarcophagus]

In charge of building the tomb was Construction Department No. 605. They ran into many problems while constructing the massive concrete and steel shell. Concrete blocks for the tomb were pieced together far from the reactor itself, and the roads enterin g the facilities were not accommodated for such loads and made it difficult for the drivers. Once the blocks were delivered, the workers needed to put them in place. Each weighed several dozen tons so eventually crane operators had to perform this task. [22]

By the end of December, 1986, two months behind schedule, the sarcophagus was finally complete. The sarcophagus had been composed of 340,000 cubic meters of concrete, 3,000 tons of steel and stood 28 stories high. [23]

Diagram-7 Before, During, and After figures of the Chernobyl buildings 3 & 4.
Chernobyl Before the Accident Chernobyl before the accident
Chernobyl at the Time of the Accident Chernobyl at the time of the accident
Chernobyl with the Sarcophagus around Reactor Number 4 Chernobyl with the Sarcophagus around Reactor Number 4

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