Can Pripyat be repopulated now?

The radioactive ruins of Chernobyl are getting a new burial site


The dome is a unique engineering achievement. “It's a real Mecca for engineers. I hope, of course, that we will never have to erect a comparable dome elsewhere. But from an engineer's point of view, it's fascinating, ”says Nicolas Caille, head of the international project led by Novarka. "We will implement groundbreaking things."

The construction is in the form of an oversized aircraft hangar and consists of kilometers of steel tubes that are held together with around 600,000 custom-made bolts - for around 15 euros each. So far, the cost of the 110 meter high, 165 meter long and 260 meter wide dome is 2.1 billion euros. If it is positioned on special Teflon and stainless steel coated rails next year, it will be the world's largest man-made object that will move on the mainland.

The dome, clad with two layers of shiny stainless steel, can be seen from the abandoned city of Pripyat, three kilometers away. In between there is a forest that is slowly being populated again by wolves, lynxes, game, wild boars, elks and beavers.

Dehumidified air circulates in the gap between these stainless steel layers so that no rust can form. By reducing the pressure in the space, the risk of radioactive dust escaping is also minimized.

The structure is designed to withstand the tremendous heat of a fire and the freezing cold of a Ukrainian winter without losing flexibility. In addition, the NSC will be able to withstand an earthquake or a tornado with a wind force of up to 332 kilometers per hour.