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First section of new shelter for Chernobyl built and raised

Workers have raised the first section of a colossal arch-shaped structure that is eventually to cover the exploded reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power station.

Project officials on Tuesday hailed the raising as a significant step in a complex effort to liquidate the consequences of the world's worst nuclear accident, in 1986. Upon completion the shelter is to be moved on rails over the building containing the destroyed reactor, allowing work to begin on dismantling the reactor and disposing of radioactive waste.

Suma Chakrabati, president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which is leading the project, called it "a very significant milestone, which is a tribute to the ongoing commitment of the international donor community, and an important step towards overcoming the legacy of the accident."