Chernobyl Wiki

Wormwood 15
The cans in the market suddenly stopped having labels. I don't think it was because they ran out of paper.
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[RU: Текущая работа в Чернобыле], [DE: Aktuelle Arbeiten in Tschernobyl]


Workers in the 4th reactor control room.

Because of the danger of the sarcophagus collapsing, there are many people who still actively work at the Chernobyl plant.

The Elephant's Foot[]

The Elephant's Foot is a large fuel containing mass of lava deep in the sarcophagus. It's name comes from the shape of the mass which resembles a elephant's foot. This mass of corium is the most radioactive object in the world and resides in Hall 217.

The New Shelter[]

As of April 26, 2012, the construction was started on a massive metal arch-like structure that will cover the sarcophagus, contain it if it collapses, and hopefully last for a lot longer than its predecessor. The starting date is significant because it was the 26th anniversary of the accident.

The steel needed for the structure arrives periodically by rail and is imported from other countries across Europe, who figure that it will cost less to give them the materials than it will to treat thousands upon thousands of their people for radiation sickness if the sarcophagus collapses. On its own, Ukraine would not have been able to afford to build the new shelter.

The Reactors[]

The three reactors that did not go bust in 1986 are being slowly disassembled now that the fuel rods are cool enough to be removed and not immediately burst into flames. Plant workers are paid well and are given practically free room and board in Slavutich, a town built on the model of Pripyat for the current plant workers. Because of these good benefits, workers do not want to lose their jobs, which they will if they take a certain dose of radiation. Given this fact, they put their lives at risk: they remove their dosimeters, do their work for the day, take a shower, and then put it back on to check into the doctor.

Once the reactors are finished being disassembled, Chernobyl will be used to store nuclear waste; it is a highly suitable location because it is already contaminated, but it would have to be even more heavily guarded than it is now for terrorism reasons.



Despite new safety procedures and as much caution as can be taken, there are still incidents that occur. At one point a fire broke out on the grounds of the power plant, believed to have been caused by a stray cigarette butt. More recently, on 13 February 2013, excessive levels of snow on the roof over the 4th reactor turbine hall caused 6500 square feet (603.87 square meters) to fall in. Luckily, no harm was done to the sarcophagus or to the workers, and it is mostly just a nuisance to clean up. However it does raise concerns about the condition of the sarcophagus itself.