At some point, Chernobyl NPP was the largest power-generating facility in Ukraine. With four functioning units, RBMK-1000 type, the gross power capacity of the plant constituted 4000 MW.
After the major accident of 1986, which was a painful ordeal for the country, the hard work on the decommission of Chernobyl NPP began. Given the extreme importance of the project, in 1987 the general designer functions were passed to KIEP, one of the most experienced organizations working in the nuclear power industry of the Soviet Union.
Over the first year subsequent to the accident, the main efforts were aimed at the development and implementation of a unique protective facility called the Shelter. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of the international team of engineers, in which KIEP’s specialists took the most active part, the project was implemented in record-breaking time. In later years, KIEP was directly involved into design works on the enforcement of the Shelter’s building structures and also provided consulting assistance to the contracting organizations that were carrying out stabilization works on the protective sarcophagus.
One by one, all the three units of Chernobyl NPP were decommissioned. The shutdown of the reactor of unit 3 – the last functioning one – was performed in the year 2000.
After a little while, a demand for a new protective structure arose as the Shelter could no longer guarantee a sufficient level of protection for the environment and the NPP’s staff. Therefore, in 2008 a consortium named NOVARKA was established to develop and implement the project of the so-called New Safe Confinement (NSC).
During 2009 – 2013, KIEP, as the NSC Main Ukrainian design company, was closely working with NOVARKA. In the course of this time, KIEP had been providing the contractor with technical and consulting assistance.
Most of the NSC construction and installation works have already been completed. The complex as a whole is scheduled to be introduced into service in 2019.