30 years ago an explosive fire at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine caused what is still regarded as the World's worst nuclear accident, spewing clouds of radioactive particles into the surrounding area. Thousands of locals left, never to return, and a 30km exclusion zone is still enforced around the remnants of the plant, which remains heavily contaminated by radioactivity.
The explosion occurred on April 26th 1986 and a devastating fire raged for 10 days. It's estimated that 4,000 tons of lead and sandbags were dropped on the site to cool the reactor, with unprepared firefighters among the first to suffer from radiation poisoning.
Now though, rebuilding is under way to redevelop the containment structure put up in the immediate aftermath of the accident, in an effort to halt the release of radioactivity for good. Some incredible drone footage has been taken from both inside and outside the structure, with the same drone also being used to coordinate structural alignments. Please excuse the terrible soundtrack...
The New Safe Confinement is the easily the most ambitious structure ever assembled in the vicinity of a heavily contaminated site, and when finished will stand at over 110 metres high.
Even now, there are conflicting reports about the death toll from Chernobyl. A Greenpeace report in 2006 suggested fatal cancer cases stood at around 100,000, with health issues related to cancer thought to have reached over 250,000.