The roof of the turbine hall was erected in 1986 to cover up the building that was damaged as a result of the April 26 nuclear explosion in the reactor, the worst in human history. The roof consisted of nine slabs of steel, each weighing 41.5 tons. It was mounted in post-explosion haste and has not been maintained for 27 years.
Eight of the slabs remain a time bomb and can also collapse, according to the power plant’s management. “The new roof was put on top of the old roof. Unfortunately, the fatigue of the steel has taken place – this means the steel was worn out,” said Ihor Gramotkin, head of the Chornobyl nuclear plant.
The station is still trying to figure out how to patch the hole and maintain the roof safely, but insist there is no danger for anyone outside the station because the level of radiation inside the turbine hall is relatively low and is now being monitored.