Thousands of workers daily take the train from their homes at Slavutich, across 55 kilometers of unpopulated woodland and marsh in northern Ukraine to their workplace. No ordinary commuters, they are workers at the Chernobyl powerplant, scene of the world�s worst-ever nuclear disaster. Nearly 4,000 people work at Chernobyl, safeguarding the destroyed reactor building No. 4 and tending to the three surviving shut-down units. Among the construction teams is Alexander Nikolayevich Plotnikov, project manager at contractor Utem Engineering, Bucha.
Utem helped build the plant until its completion a couple of years before the accident. Among local contractors on the current $1.4-billion Shelter Implementation Plan (SIP) to securely isolate the destroyed reactor, Utem claims the lion’s share. “Nobody in the world ever did a job like this at a facility like this,” says Plotnikov.