Chernobyl: New Images Emerge Showing Inside The New Safe Confinement Structure

Journalists were given the chance to look inside the New Safe Confinement structure built over Chernobyl's Reactor 4.

A worker inside the 'New Safe Confinement' which contains the old sarcophagus entombing the destroyed reactor number four at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant on July 2, 2019 in Pripyat, Ukraine.
Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images

Journalists were given the chance to look inside the New Safe Confinement structure built over Chernobyl's Reactor 4.

Since HBO released its limited series, Chernobyl, that delved into the disaster at the nuclear power plant in 1986, people have had a renewed interest in the power plant and the infamous Reactor 4. Now, new images have emerged showing the inside of the New Safe Confinement structure that was erected and put into place in 2016.

When the Chernobyl disaster occurred, it resulted in a meltdown of the nuclear core in Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Initially, a temporary covering, called the sarcophagus and made of metal and concrete, was built in order to stop the spread of radiation. In the 1990s, deterioration was detected in this covering and work began on a newer and more permanent structure, now known as the New Safe Confinement structure.

The New Safe Confinement structure was completed in 2016. As Fox News points out, the new structure has a “span of 843 feet and a total weight of over 36,000 tonnes.” This new structure completely entombs the old one and will help contain radioactive dust. In addition, it is the largest land-based movable structure in the world.

It has taken nine years and a cost of $1.7 billion (approximately 1.5 billion euros) in order to complete the New Safe Confinement structure. These funds came from 45 different countries, the European Union, as well as funds from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

“This was a very long project,” said Balthasar Lindauer, who is the director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s Nuclear Safety Department.

According to Fox 6 Now, the “Ukrainian government will soon be taking control of the new confinement structure.” Before this is to occur, new images have been released to the public that shows inside the massive structure and also giving a glimpse into what Reactor 4 now looks like.

Ahead of the handover to the Ukranian government, journalists were invited to visit the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which is actually situated in Pripyat and not Chernobyl. These journalists were then given access to the New Safe Confinement structure — both inside and out.

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A view inside the 'New Safe Confinement' of the old sarcophagus entombing the destroyed reactor number four at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant on July 2, 2019 in Pripyat, Ukraine
  Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images

New images from outside the nuclear power plant show the massive new structure over the top of the old sarcophagus. However, it is the images from inside the new structure that fans of HBO’s Chernobyl are more excited about. These images show the old sarcophagus over the remains of Reactor 4.

Since HBO’s Chernobyl aired in May of this year, touring companies that visit Pripyat and the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant have seen, on average, a 40 percent increase in tourism in the area that is directly related to the TV series.

The limited miniseries, Chernobyl, is currently airing on HBO.