On April 26, 1986, the sadly known Chernobyl accident took place. The serious situation required quick measures to be taken to minimize the consequences of disaster and their impact on the local environment, personnel and population. The multinational group of scientists, engineers and construction workers managed then to create a structure that prevented the environmental disaster of the global scale. It took only 206 days to design and erect the so-called Shelter Object, a protective sarcophagus over damaged Chernobyl’s power unit No 4.
However, the Shelter Object that was constructed in extremely complicated radiation conditions during a very short time and was incapable to solve fully a safety problem of the damaged power unit No 4 due to leak tightness problems arising since time and degradation of civil structures of the Shelter Object. This situation called for the construction of a new protective structure over the object "Shelter".
Being the General Design Engineer of Chernobyl NPP since 1987, KIEP has been taking an active part in the implementation of the New Safe Confinement (NSC) starting from the very early stage of the project and in the course of its implementation. The NSC feasibility study was carried out by KIEP along with an international team that consisted of American, French and Ukrainian organizations.
The NSC is a complicated protective complex that aside from the Arch with double cladding also has different process systems that allow for the proper functioning of the complex as a whole.
The design works of this grandiose facility were started by NOVARKA consortium, i.e. the Contractor for NSC construction consisting of two globally renowned French companies - Vinci Construction и Bouygues Travaux Publics in 2008.
During 2009 – 2013, KIEP as the NSC Main Ukrainian design company, closely working with NOVARKA Consortium developed the following Projects:
- Licensing package LP-3 “Erection and Transport Zones NSC Foundations”
- Licensing package LP-5 "Main Structure and Main Cranes System"
- Licensing package LP-6 “Protective Facility with Technological Life Support Systems and Required Infrastructure”.
- Detailed design “NSC Service Zone Foundations”.
KIEP provided full support to the Contractor in the process of Project licensing by the State authorities of Ukraine, which ensured obtaining a positive conclusion on the NSC Project as in a whole.
In 2017 KIEP completed the development of the one more Project related to NSC construction – the development of NSC Enclosing perimeter’s Project, which ensures NSC sealing and separation against existing structures of power unit No3 of Chernobyl NPP.
After completion of the Arch assembly, one of the most difficult engineering tasks was the Arch installation, the most massive part of the NSC, over the power unit No4. Arch transfer from its assembly area to the operating area using a unique sliding-over technology was fully completed in November 2016. Being 109 meters in height, 165 meters in length and 257 meters in width, the Arch covers the Shelter Object and other structures of the power unit No4.
The NSC Enclosing perimeter constructed and put into operation a year later on November 2017.
NSC commissioning is scheduled for 2019. At present, KIEP provides engineering support to the Contractor at this final stage in the creation of the New Safe Confinement.