Bouygues Removed Workers From Chernobyl as Precaution

Bouygues Construction, a French affiliate of group Bouygues SA formed to build a protective shield over the Chernobyl nuclear plant, removed its workers from the site as a precaution after part of a structure collapsed.

Bouygues is awaiting “guarantees” from the Chernobyl plant that the collapse of side panels 150 meters (about 500 feet) from the construction site on Feb. 12 won’t affect the stability of the protecting roof, spokeswoman Fabienne Bouloc said in e-mailed comments. Radiation levels at the site are within the normal range, the company said in a statement.

Ukraine raised about 550 million euros ($734 million) at a donor conference in April 2010 to seal the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster. Countries including the U.K., the U.S., France, Russia and Germany made donations. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development contributed 190 million euros.

The Chernobyl plant needs to verify that the roof is under no danger of falling, and its operator is also expected to clean off the snow, Bouloc said. Bouygues expects the report will be finished in the next 14 days, she said.

The 600 square meters (6,500 square feet) of side panels are not essential elements to the shelter facility, the Chernobyl power plant said on its website on Feb. 12.

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