From now on, we will never be able to see the so-called the sarcophagus — a temporary shelter built shortly after the tragedy in April 1986, to protect Ukraine and the world from nuclear contamination. 30 years after the nuclear disaster Ukraine with the world community managed to almost seal the radioactive remains of the destroyed unit, pulled him a unique technological structure — the new safe confinement.
«In fact, the new safe confinement is not just the arch — said in an interview with reporters, Deputy chief engineer of Chernobyl from the shelter Sergey Kondratenko. — External and internal sheathing made of stainless steel. Part of the respective structures produced in Ukraine, some in Italy. In addition, arch has a number of technological innovations. Its unique equipment was manufactured according to the most modern world technologies. In the upper part of the arch is equipped with two travelling cranes with a lifting capacity of 100 tons, to be used for dismantling of unstable structures of the old object shelter».
«On the mark, that is, at a height of 85 meters, installed six crane beams, as well as equipment to maintain the temperature and moisture regime in the annular space (the distance between the outer and inner panels is 12 meters). This is necessary in order to arch worked for another 100 years. This time, we should be able to solve a number of problems for which today no decision yet», — said the Deputy chief engineer.
«Before the deadline of the project, i.e. until Nov 2017, we still have to completely seal the object, — he adds — that is, to set there the elastic membrane in existing gaps. Will also need to complete the installation of technological equipment, conduct testing, to confirm compliance with the technological parameters design data. And only then, at the end of 2017, the facility will be commissioned and will come under the responsibility of the customer, that is Chernobyl».
«Our ultimate goal is to remove all sources of radioactivity, primarily the remains of nuclear fuel, the so-called fuel-containing materials and high-level sources. While there is no such technology. Strategy of transformation of the object shelter, adopted by the interdepartmental Commission in March 2001, identified the ultimate goal of creating ecologically safe system. This means the absence of any sources of radiation, but this is still far away,» says Kalugin.
«We welcome the completion of this stage of the process of transformation of the ChNPP as a symbol of what we could accomplish together thanks to a powerful, determined and long term effort, said at a ceremony for the completion of safe confinement thrusting President of the European Bank for reconstruction and development sir Suma Chakrabarti. We applaud our Ukrainian partners and contractor (concern «NOVARKA», France), as well as thank all the donors of the Chernobyl Shelter Fund, whose contributions have made today’s success possible. This spirit of cooperation gives us confidence that the project will be completed on time and within budget — in one year.»
The audience was excited, emotional speech of project Manager from the contractor for the construction of confinement — concern «NOVARKA» — Nicolas Kai. Kai said he first heard about the Chernobyl tragedy is still a student and could not afford, then, to imagine that you have to take part in this outstanding project, which involved 10 thousand workers and engineers from 30 countries. All of them, as well as Ukrainians who were there, he expressed gratitude for the professionalism and dedication. «For this project we all sacrificed his own interests» — sincerely but somewhat cryptically noted French engineer.
The highlight of the ceremony was the speech of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. The end of thrusting confinement he called «absolutely a historic event» and congratulated him as present, and all Ukrainians. «A coalition of 28 countries in support of Ukraine gathered more than 1.4 billion euros to build this structure. I would also like to thank the countries «big seven», extraordinary and Plenipotentiary ambassadors of which is here with us today — said the President. — The great role played by the European Bank for reconstruction and development, whose President, a great friend of Ukraine, today, is also here with us.» «But the main role was played by Ukrainians, — said Poroshenko and added: — We did what ever in the world no one did.» «Yes! We did it,» he exclaimed, and made the appropriate gesture.
But whether Ukraine will receive the support of international donors and investors after completion of the program build and the introduction of confinement? The journalists asked the Minister of ecology and natural resources Ostap Semerak. «Ukraine continues to rely on partnerships with our donors, primarily with the EBRD. Today we will host the donor conference as well as participants and contributors of the Chernobyl Fund, and we will be there, among other things, to address these issues. The government is preparing an appeal to the partners on our vision for development cooperation. And we count on scientific support equipment in the disassembly of the fourth unit. Because Ukraine itself it will be quite difficult to do. For us very important is also assistance through the follow-up of this project. It is an additional guarantee of safety and quality of all work». This writes Vitaly Kniazhansky in the article «farewell to the sarcophagus» in the newspaper «Day».
Huge construction project coming to an end. At various stages of construction were involved up to three thousand people, including the best engineers from dozens of countries around the world. The construction was not carried out over the destroyed reactor — it would be too dangerous due to high radiation levels — and on the construction site a few hundred meters from the accidental, of the object «Shelter». Now on specially prepared tracks of the giant steel structure was moved to its final position above the reactor.
The width of the arch is 150 metres and the length is 257 meters. The total roof area of nearly 170 000 square meters. It has been installed by specialists of the German company Kalzip. The roof, as explained by German experts in an interview with Deutshche Wtll, is a double. The space between the two layers of the roof is an important technological feature: it will be supported by special climatic regime that will protect the roofing material from exposure to extreme temperatures. In addition, this space will create a slightly increased pressure level. This should eliminate the ingress of radioactive dust out, if the roof suddenly there are any leaks.
The security requirements of the New safe confinement, the experts explain Kalzip, very different from all the other objects over which they previously had to work. In the end, the sarcophagus is reliable to last for at least a hundred years and resist all the natural disasters that you can imagine — from the earthquake before the fall of the massive ice boulders. «The roof must withstand a tornado the third degree. We complied, but asked not to hurry and give us a few weeks for additional tests. In the end the compressor during the experiment has failed, unable to withstand the generated pressure. But fixing the roof withstood even when the pressure reached 24 kilonewton. While the requirement was 10 kilonewton,» recalls engineer Kalzip Christoph Schmidt, did not hide the pride.
Strength requirements of the roof is clear: if a fragment is damaged, replace it will be almost impossible. Because of the damaged Chernobyl reactor, the radiation level is so high that the implementation of any repairs is not expected. The height of the arch is 105 meters, which is higher than the bell tower of the Kiev Lavra or the statue of Liberty in new York. Weight of steel structures — 29 000 tons, which is several times more than the Eiffel tower.
For a hundred years, is to be the new safe confinement, I hope politicians and experts, will be found a solution to the problem of reburial of high-level nuclear waste, which will be under the arch. Experts have already prepared a work plan for the disassembly of «old» Shelter. However, it is not clear how to Fund this work.
Steel arch over the damaged reactor at Chernobyl was worth half a billion dollars. These funds were collected everywhere. However, the removal of nuclear fuel and contaminated debris from the new arch will cost much more. «I assume that it will cost many times more than the new safe confinement,» — said in an interview with Deutshche Welle German expert of radiation protection Norbert Molitor. Most likely, the Ukraine will Fund yourself, after agreements with international donors yet, according to Eugene Case in the article «a New confinement at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant: more than just a steel arch», which publishes the online Deutshche Welle.
«It’s incredible, what a big. Hurry to see it up close!», but the emotions of journalists when they drove up to the fourth unit of Chernobyl NPP. Near the famous arch, which was written several years in a row, really impressive. Next to her I feel like a midget. I can’t believe such a machine could build. And not just to build, step by step move in the desired place.»
In Chernobyl at the entrance to the press centre, which was to be held the official opening ceremony of confinement, standing frame metallodetector.
Then it became clear — the main guest of such a prominent event in the history not only of our country but also in Europe will be the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. Until his arrival, the organizers were a bit busy, and the journalists were doing their job – looking for speakers who can talk about the construction of a huge arch.
«In order to build the arch, worked more than 10 thousand employees and engineers from 40 countries. Among them, the Ukrainians, the French, the Japanese and so on», — was said during the official opening ceremony.
More than nine years lasted work on the construction of a new shelter over the reactor.
«Work began in 2007 and completion was scheduled for 2013, but the deadlines were moved, as it is quite time-consuming and difficult process, — said the designers. – Overall, for its construction took more than 25 thousand hours of work.»
The life of the arch is 100 years, but the designers are confident that it will last longer. The material from which it is made of steel. And the cost of its construction amounted to $ 1.5 billion.
«She’s willing to withstand the temperature extremes range from -43 degrees Celsius to +45 degrees Celsius — it was said during the presentation of this Grand building. – A powerful tornado.»
Yet the arch just pulled over the reactor, but will put it into operation only in November 2017. Until that time, you will need to close all the cracks and to ensure tightness. But at the same time removing the radioactive fuel from the 4-th power. But how it will be done by people or robots, is not clear.
«Let them see it, what can Ukraine and the world when they merged. How can we protect the world from nuclear pollution and nuclear threats,» said Petro Poroshenko during closing argument.
How could to the arch, if the unit is tall pipe? This problem was solved by the company «Ukrenergomontazh». The head of its Supervisory Board Viktor Mikitas said that «transfer» vent pipe on the fourth unit was one of the most difficult projects.
«Old pipe, which everyone remembers as one of the symbols of Chernobyl, interfered with on the fourth power unit of the arch, so it cut off, — explains Mikitas. But without the tube can not operate the ventilation system of the third and fourth units, so our builders built a new closer to the third cluster. The process is complicated and time-consuming, and even in conditions of high radiation. This project once again convinced the European partners that Ukraine has enough specialists and experience.» This writes Svetlana Mazurina in the article «the Arch into position. But where you will get the radioactive fuel?» in the newspaper «KP in Ukraine».
1 Dec. Press review. Novi confinement disaster: the first step to black sea 01.12.2016