29 Nov (NucNet): Chernobyl’s giant New Safe Confinement (NSC) has been slid into its final resting place, completely enclosing a previous makeshift shelter that was hastily assembled immediately after the 1986 accident.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said the €1.5bn ($1.58bn) NSC – the largest moveable land-based structure ever built, with a span of 257 metres – was slid into place at a ceremony today, marking a key milestone in the international programme to transform Chernobyl into an environmentally safe and secure state by November 2017.
The EBRD manages the Chernobyl Shelter Fund and is the largest contributor to the NSC project.
The EBRD said completion of the NSC, which has been moved 327 metres from its assembly point, means the radioactive remains of the power plant’s destroyed reactor 4 have been safely enclosed following one of the world’s most ambitious engineering projects.
The equipment in the NSC will now be connected to the new technological building which will serve as a control room for future operations inside the arch.
The NSC will be hermetically sealed off from the environment. Finally, after intensive testing of all equipment and commissioning, handover of the NSC to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant administration is expected in November 2017.
The EBRD said the NSC will make the accident site safe and with a lifetime of 100 years allow for the eventual dismantling of the ageing makeshift shelter from 1986 and the management of the radioactive waste.
The structure was built by Novarka, a consortium of the French construction firms Vinci Construction and Bouygues Construction. Work started in 2010.
The giant structure is the most prominent element of the Chernobyl Shelter Implementation Plan, which involved more than 300 projects and activities.
The €2.1bn programme is financed by the Chernobyl Shelter Fund. Established in 1997, the fund has received more than €1.5bn from 45 donors.