Experts discuss domino effect of further collapses at Chernobyl… not ‘expected’ — Officials say temporary cover has to be put over holes in roof and walls

Published: March 2nd, 2013 at 12:20 am ET
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RIA Novosti, March 2, 2013: A temporary cover will be built above the collapsed section of Chernobyl’s nuclear power plant, the chief engineer said late on Friday. [...] Chernobyl NPP technical director and chief engineer Andrei Bilyk said the temporary cover was recommended by experts who visited the plant last week, and that the station’s management saw it as “the first thing that has to be done.” [...] The chief engineer described the structure’s current condition as “stable.” “We came to a conclusion that there will be no further collapses. We expect no domino effect,” Bilyk said.

GlobalPost, Feb. 25, 2013: Officials said radiation levels didn’t rise after the incident. “They didn’t even move toward control norms,” the plant’s spokeswoman Maya Rudenko elaborated. Asked what those levels are, however, she chided: “You understand, in a place that suffered from a [highest] scale 7 nuclear accident, there can be no norm.” “There’s no answer to your question,” she elaborated.

See also: Chernobyl workers evacuated from site -- Roof collapse was 50 meters from reactor's sarcophagus -- Soundness inspection underway (PHOTOS)

Published: March 2nd, 2013 at 12:20 am ET
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17 comments

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17 comments to Experts discuss domino effect of further collapses at Chernobyl… not ‘expected’ — Officials say temporary cover has to be put over holes in roof and walls

  • CB CB

    "laugh unto cry" chemfood, I know your still here.


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  • razzz razzz

    The whole point of the new sarcophagus under construction was to replace the 'temporary' sarcophagus. But because of funding, the new sarcophagus is way behind schedule and estimates of the timelines for life of the old sarcophagus are coming true.

    I don't think a temporary fix on a temporary structure is possible. Probably weaken it further. Even a tarp could catch the wind and help push it over.

    Russia (new) needs to step up and get the new sarcophagus finished before a serious radioactive dust storm occurs during a potential collapse.

    Clowns are running the nuclear circus.


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Thyroid cancer, leukemia, breast cancer, and others will continue because the air, soil, and food are contaminated from Chernobyl.


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  • Jay

    The new , Capitalistic , Russia breeds Billioners from the sale of armament and oil so That money goes now to a private pocket : well done Vladimir Putin ! —> over twenty million dead russians in the WW2 roll in their graves demanding Putin DNA Test … right , the once KGB head protecting Socialism ( communism never existed as a country ) now is in love with Capitalism ! OH YA !!


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  • amberlight amberlight

    “They [radiation levels] didn’t even move toward control norms,” however "there can be no norm," therefore "there is no answer to your question."

    Bravo, Madam Rudenko, doublespokeswoman for the Ministry of Doublespeak.


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  • Mack Mack

    Chernobyl's cleanup has cost $500 billion dollars to date.

    The cost of cleanup will be neverending as new covers will need to be built over the sarcophagus every +/- 100 years.

    Factor in the health costs of the thyroid cancers, leukemias, birth defects, etc., and the future teratogenic cancers/health damage to come…and the cost will easily reach into the TRILLIONS.


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    • m a x l i

      Every 100 years is very optimistic. The times when anything we could build would last for 100 years ended in the Dark Ages. Now we are in the Very Dark Ages. Remember, only 27 years are gone by now, and the first sarcophagus actually needed replacement the moment it was finished.

      It will be interesting to see how big the third sarcophagus will be, because it has to span over the first and second one. A lot of us will see that one being built, sadly and….hopefully.

      Let alone sarcophagus No. x in 100.000 years.


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      • guezilla

        While agreed in principle, the original "Object Shelter" is very exceptional case. It's not as much designed as slapped together, and it was expected to be replaced in 20 years from inception. We also know the maximum rated lifetime for the load-bearing steel beams is 30 years, so I guess they're aiming for a cinematic finish where the cover is being slid over it just as the clock is ticking down towards 0… only to hit a snag on the final moments. If only structures were that predictable!

        While they're quick and correct to note that the expected lifetime of complex structures is determine experimentally, and in the Object Shelter's case there is no precedent, this largely holds true for the new confinement as well. With both US and EU in financially dire straits, and Ukraine who inherited this mess from Soviet Union flat broke, it's certain they're going to have to take many shortcuts to meet the financial and time constraints.

        As you ought to well know, Gorbachev, the final leader of Soviet Union, credite Chernobyl more than the arms-race or perestroik for the eventual fall of Soviet Union. "The price of the Chernobyl catastrophe was overwhelming, not only in human terms, but also economically. Even today, the legacy of Chernobyl affects the economies of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus." he wrote in 2006. Yet, has the western equivalent ushered in a new era of openness, rejection of corruption and reflection on safety?


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        • m a x l i

          If humankind will be further following the path they are running right now, then the second cover will be the exceptional one for being relatively sound and sophisticated, while the third one will be as slapped together as the first one, and the forth one will be more slapped together than the third, and so on. And it will not take long until nobody will not slap together anything.


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      • guezilla

        The 100.000 years for what it is worth might be slight exageration. Best estimates range around 20.000 years, meaning "only" 200 New Safe Confinement like projects. Of course it must be noted that building a large container for the last one each time soon becomes impossible.

        The official plan is to dismantle the reactor under the cover and store the high-level radioactive waste in appropriate final storage, just like in Fukushima, but if precendence and general human behaviour are to be any kind of indication, they'll just keep building new covers waiting for the technology and economics to allow for a final solution to the problem.

        Of course, this plan might hit a snatch or two as well – 20,000 years ago "modern" humans had barely won the world from Neanderthals and begun making clothes. Domestication of animals like the dog, and first forms of rudimentary writing had to wait until 10,000 years ago. What we today consider "civilization" is but 5,000 years old; a span that saw the fall of at least 85 Empires of Man. So nations and cultures for at least four times the age of what passes for civilization to us have to look after.

        So considering nuclear industry researchers and scientists constantly find out that Chernobyl zone of alienation is actually beneficial to plants and animals within it, and the collapse of the sarcophagus poses absolutely no risk to anyone, they should just let it crumble and reap the awesome benefits!


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  • nedlifromvermont

    Isn't nuclear power wonderful???

    Not …

    peace 'newsers, keep slammin' 'em …. their just desserts …

    … take no notice of the …

    experts in the field will …


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  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    Wonderful! A nice big birdhouse for 1.5 BILLION.

    How many radioactive birds will nest there?

    Cost per bird?


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  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    What difference does a roof make?


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