The project on the commissioning of the New Safe Confinement (NSC) above the destroyed Unit 4 of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP) is at the final stage. Vitalii Petruk, Head of the State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management (SAUEZM), noted in the public report for 2018 that the works are 96 % completed.
“The main difficulty lies in the unique nature of such activities, since no one else has ever done anything like that in the world. Due to high exposure doses, workers may stay under the Arch no more than 15 minutes. This is a very complicated work, but I hope that in the second half of 2019 we will complete it and, finally, commission the abovementioned object”, Vitalii Petruk said.
Besides, he stated that relevant measures were implemented in 2018 aimed at obtaining a separate permit for the operation of building structures within ChNPP Stage II, which serve as NSC protective enclosure after their reinforcement and sealing. In January 2019, the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine provided ChNPP with a relevant permit. With the start of NSC operation, building structures of the protective enclosure will be part of the main building and will be operated as a single object.
During the report presentation, SAUEZM Head stated focused on the main achievements of the previous year. In particular, the construction works at Vektor Complex Stage 1 were completed and the efforts were underway to develop the design documents of infrastructure objects for the acceptance of vitrified waste after Rivne NPP Units 1 and 2 spent nuclear fuel processing. Besides, a set of activities on energy efficiency and energy saving at the enterprises belonging to SAUEZM management sphere were implemented and the pilot project of solar power plant of 1 MW at ChNPP was launched.
In addition, Ukraine received a feasibility study from the French Company Tractebel, which confirmed the possibility of constructing a 1.2 GW solar power plant in the exclusion zone, and the Governmental resolution on issuing the permit to develop a land management project for the construction of a wind power plant was approved.