The dividing walls between units 3 and 4 of the Chernobyl NPP in Ukraine has been completed ahead of schedule, in preparation for the New Safe Confinement (NSC), which will be place over unit 4. Completion of the NSC is scheduled for November 2017. Viktor Popovskyi, deputy project and programme manager, said in a 5 October statement that 9,600 cubic metres of concrete and 1,500t of reinforcing steel rebar were used in the construction of the end walls.

The work included reinforcing and sealing the existing structures of units 3 and 4, where the NSC will be attached, and the design and construction of new dividing walls within the old structures. Preparation work of the surfaces has been carried out ready for installation and attachment of sealing anchors.

Chernobyl NPP said before construction of the dividing walls started, "tens of tonnes of technological equipment and metal structures were dismantled, as well as hundreds of cubic metres of concrete". Building the walls was complicated by the conditions at the site including the initial design and the "severe radiation situation and high dose rates" for workers.

The work was carried out by Ukrainian companies JSC Kievmetrostroy, PJSC Ukrenergomontazh, Ukrainian State Building Corporation "Ukrbud" and OOO SK Ukrstroymontazh under a $40m contract awarded in December 2014.

Dismantling of the heavy lift crane used in the construction of the walls and the runways on which it moves will be completed by 28 October, the plant said. The site will then be handed over in full to the Novarka consortium, led by the French construction companies Bouygues and Vinci, which began building the NSC in 2012.

The NSC will be 110 metres high, 165 metres long, and have a span of 260 metres. Its expected lifetime is at least 100 years. The arch-shaped structure, weighing more than 30,000t, was built in two halves, which were joined together in July 2015. Construction of the NSC is being financed via the Chernobyl Shelter Fund, managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development as mandated by the G7 and on behalf of the contributors to the fund.