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Largest movable building in the world, Chernobyl arch on Project Impossible

Chernobyl
Project Impossible looks at the great movable arch used to contain Chernobyl

This week Project Impossible looks at some of the trickiest building projects including the largest movable building in the world and skyscraper build to stand up to quakes.

After the disaster at the Chernobyl reactor in 1986 the USSR moved quickly to seal up the exposed reactor in a concrete tomb. This was done in haste due to the high levels of radiation, so elements were laid on top of each other rather than being bolted together. In the last ten year the tomb started to really deteriorate and it was decided a more substantial cover was needed.

To this end an international effort designed and constructed a vast arch to fit over the entire remain of the reactor. Known as The New Safe Confinement, it had to be constructed a few hundred meters from the site due to level of radiation still being high. This meant the final structure had to be capable of being moved.

In a remarkable feat of engineering the team did just that and managed to move the vast structure 327 metres to its final destination.

Also on this episode, a mighty skyscraper that is designed to be able to handle an earthquake and a sports stadium that was designed with a nod to an Roman temple.

Later episodes will feature wind turbines in the North Sea with 600 foot rotors and the vast sea wall designed to protect Venice.

 Project Impossible airs Wednesdays at 10 PM on History.

James has worked for Monsters and Critics since it started back in 2003. He oversees the business and technical side of things. You can contact... read more
James Wray

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