Robots, radioactive waste - what happens next at Chernobyl
Thirty years ago the Chernobyl nuclear reactor triggered what would become the world's worst nuclear accident. We know that today, but back in the waning days of April, 1986, there was a lot that Soviet officials didn't want us to know.
But a catastrophic nuclear disaster isn't easy to hide. Clouds of fallout started racing across borders. Hours after the Soviet's initial denial, officials finally fessed up. It didn't take long for the awful reality of the catastrophic nuclear disaster to become clear - a sharp spike in cases of thyroid cancer, many deaths estimated in the range from 4-thousand to a half a million.
A hastily constructed concrete sarcophagus was built around the damaged reactor number 4, but it wasn't structurally sound. There were holes in the roof. Parts of it threatened to collapse. A real fix was desperately needed. And this week - that happened.
- Giant shelter getting placed over Chornobyl nuclear reactor
- Wildlife Thrive Around Chernobyl - Without Humans
- Chornobyl, 30 years later: A 360 tour of a ghost town
Chernobyl's hundred year solution is a massive arch that has just been rolled over the site. Its goal is to prevent radioactive material from further leaking into the environment.
Jodi Lieberman is an independent nuclear policy analyst who's worked with organizations like the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She also writes a regular column, Nuclear Roundup, for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. She says, in a way, she feels a sense of closure now that this new confinement structure is in place.