Russia Believes it Feasible to Build Another Sarcophagus over Chernobyl Power Plant

It would be feasible to build another sarcophagus over the Chernobyl nuclear power plant Russian Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev said at a Tuesday briefing in Moscow, dedicated to the 17th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe.

Alexander Rumyantsev specified that the props supporting roof of the sarcophagus were erected "in haste" right after the explosion which had taken place on April 26, 1986, and the reliability of the structure was still questionable.

According to Mr. Rumyantsev, "cracks may appear in this sarcophagus with time, and residual nuclear materials may leak." "A new structure built over the existing sarcophagus would calm down the public, and ensure the reliable burial of the power plant for the next hundred years," the Russian Atomic Energy Minister believes.

Mr. Rumyantsev noted that the explosion in the Chernobyl plant's power-generating unit was the greatest man-caused catastrophe of the twentieth century. "Ten nuclear plants are operating in Russia at the moment; they are all supplied with effective safety systems, and the design of their power-generating units rules out the possibility of a similar tragedy," he said.

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