Chernobyl / $1.6 Billion Shelter Named As One Of Most 50 Influential Projects

By David Dalton
9 October 2019

$1.6 Billion Shelter Named As One Of Most 50 Influential Projects
The $1.6bn New Safe Confinement was slid over the reactor in 2016. Photo courtesy EBRD.
The international, 22-year effort to cover and seal off the damaged Chernobyl nuclear plant has been recognised as one of the 50 most influential projects of the past 50 years by the Project Management Institute, the global body for project management standards, certifications, and education, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said.

Bechtel led the consortium that performed an original design of the $1.6bn sports-stadium-sized arch – known as the New Safe Confinement – that was slid over the reactor in 2016. Novarka, a joint venture of the French firms Vinci Construction and Bouygues Travaux Publics, performed the design and construction.

The EBRD financed the project along with 45 donor nations. The giant NSC structure is the most prominent element of the Shelter Implementation Plan for Chernobyl, which involved more than 300 projects and activities.

The $2.3bn programme is financed by the Chernobyl Shelter Fund, which is managed by the EBRD and is its largest contributor with the provision of €715m.

The project was handed over to the Ukrainian authorities in July of 2019. The confinement is now in place, and specialised, remote-operated equipment is commissioned and ready for the day when the reactor building can be demolished. That could be 100 years from now, after its radioactivity has decayed to acceptable levels.

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