KIEV Feb 13 Part of a structure next to the
damaged nuclear reactor at Ukraine's Chernobyl power plant has
collapsed, the authorities said on Wednesday, adding there were
no injuries or any increase in radiation levels.
The Emergencies Ministry said Tuesday's collapse was not of
the sarcophagus covering the reactor, but part of the wall and
roof of a turbine hall that caved in under the weight of snow.
"There were no safety breaches," the ministry said in a
The power plant's administration said in a separate
statement: "There has been no change in the radiation levels at
the Chernobyl nuclear power plant industrial area and in the (30
km) exclusion zone. No one was injured."
The power plant - which stopped running its reactors in 2000
- was the site of the worst nuclear power disaster in history in
April 1986 when one of its reactors exploded during a safety
experiment, sending out a plume of highly radioactive fallout.
Large areas of Ukraine and neighbouring Belarus were
Ukraine is now building a new structure around the old
sarcophagus aimed at preventing leaks from the hastily built and
French construction groups Vinci and Bouygues
, who are building the 30,000 tonne confinement shelter
under a joint venture called Novarka, said they had evacuated
the roughly 80 workers at the construction site as a precaution.