A 6,500 square foot section of roof over the turbine hall at the fourth power block collapsed at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine on Wednesday, apparently under the weight of a heavy snowfall.

The incident led to the evacuation of 80 employees but Ukrainian officials have made public assurances that radiation levels remain unaffected.
Chernobyl sarcophagus
“Everybody should be absolutely calm,” a Chernobyl spokesman said. “Yes, it is unpleasant, but there is no danger.”

The site of the world’s largest nuclear disaster was undergoing work by French construction companies, Vinci and Bouygues, at the time of the collapse.

The work taking place involved construction of a new sarcophagus structure covering the reactor that exploded in 1986. That structure is designed to contain radiation emanating from the exploded reactor.

“The old shelter was not affected, the new safe confinement was not affected either,” said Anton Usov, spokesman for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which runs the $2bn project co-sponsored by the bank and international donors.

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