More than 25 years after the infamous disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, an emergency structure built to contain its radioactive wreckage is in danger of failing. A new structure currently under construction is designed to contain the radioactive waste at the site for the next 100 years, and according to reports will incorporate Sabic Innovative Plastics' Lexan polycarbonate resin.
Called the New Safe Confinement, the new shelter is being assembled adjacent to the destroyed reactor to minimize workers' radiation exposure and will be moved into position on Teflon fluoropolymer bearings. It's comprised of steel arches measuring 360 feet (110 meters) tall, with a length of 540 feet (165 meters) and span of 850 feet (260 meters). The underside of the arches will be covered in Lexan to prevent the accumulation of radioactive particles.
The New Safe Confinement will be the largest moveable structure in the world, according to Scientific American. Elements for the arch were prefabricated in Italy and transported to Ukraine for assembly, a report from the European bank for Reconstruction and Development indicates. Work is expected to be completed by 2017.