KIEV — Ukraine signed deals with Western firms on Monday to build a new arch-shaped shelter to encase the wrecked fourth reactor at the Chernobyl power plant, site of the world’s worst nuclear accident, and to store spent nuclear fuel. With President Viktor Yushchenko looking on, the head of the now decommissioned station signed a deal with the French-led Novarka consortium to erect the new shelter. The project is due to be completed over four to five years and cost US$1.39 billion.
A second deal was signed with U.S.-based Holtec International to build a facility to house spent fuel from the station’s other three reactors. A total of 285 million euros (US$396 million) has so far been allocated for that project.