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Chernobyl to get new steel lid

$1.4bn 'containment structure'

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Ukrainian authorities will spend an estimated $1.4bn of foreign donors' cash covering the remains of Chernobyl nuclear power plant's No 4 reactor with a new "containment structure", the BBC reports.

French company Novarka needs five years to construct the "giant arch-shaped structure", 190 metres wide and 200m long, to replace the crumbling concrete mausoleum poured over the reactor following the 1986 accident. Once in place, the new lid will allow the reactor to be dismantled and the removal of the 95 per cent of its original nuclear material still entombed within.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko declared: "Today is probably the first time that we can openly look into the eyes of the national and international community and say that a solution to the problem that has long been called the Chernobyl problem was formally found." ®

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