Collapse of sarcophagus of Chernobyl nuclear power plant threatens to become a new ecological catastrophe.

Lately the technical state of the fourth reactor’s sarcophagus has deteriorated – the walls are cracked, general building’s geometry became deformed, the ceiling has settled.

The period of guaranteed operation of "Shelter" is going to expire in 2006. Experts warn that collapse of protective contracture can cause more grave consequences than the accident of the year 1986 itself.

Meanwhile, it is impossible to give a real estimation now. A new sarcophagus, "Shelter – 2" was projected to neutralize the reactor. The period of sarcophagus operation is meant for hundred years.

Costs for the project was supposed to make 750 million USD, 50 million of which will be given by the Ukrainian government, and coalition of 28 countries will give the rest. Now it is a question of one milliard USD.

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