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NOVARKA and Chernobyl Project Management Unit confirm cost and time schedule for Chernobyl New Safe Confinement

Assembly of new structure to be finalised in mid-2015

Author(s):Press Office
Date:08 April 2011

Representatives of the NOVARKA joint venture – formed by the construction companies VINCI Construction Grands Projets and Bouygues Travaux Publics – and the Chernobyl Project Management Unit have confirmed the cost for the Chernobyl New Safe Confinement, the biggest single project under the Shelter Implementation Plan. The complete programme to transform the site of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant into an environmentally safe state will cost €1.54 billion. The New Safe Confinement will cost about two thirds of the total cost of the Shelter Implementation Plan.

In a meeting with EBRD President Thomas Mirow in London the chairmen of VINCI Construction Grands Projets, and Bouygues Travaux Publics together with representatives of the Chernobyl Project Management Unit, which oversees the project implementation, reiterated the commitment to bring the construction of the New Safe Confinement to a timely and cost-effective conclusion.

The current schedule foresees that the assembly of the New Safe Confinement will be completed in summer 2015 and subsequently be slid over the present shelter which was built after the 1986 accident in unit 4. The representatives of NOVARKA and the Project Management Unit – an integrated team composed of dedicated Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant staff and the experts from the consortium of Bechtel and Battelle Memorial Institute – confirmed that this time schedule is achievable.

During the meeting, which was also attended by the General Director of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Igor Gramotkin, President Mirow was updated on the progress of the Shelter Implementation Plan in advance of the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the accident in 1986. Major projects such as the stabilisation of the present shelter and important infrastructure and preparatory works have been completed.

Mr Mirow stated: “While we understand that this is a formidable task without a precedent, I expect all relevant parties to do their utmost to bring this vitally important project to a successful conclusion. The donor community calls upon the companies involved in this undertaking to assume their responsibility and cooperate in the most efficient way.”

All participants at the meeting acknowledged the complexity of the project and expressed satisfaction that the design of the New Safe Confinement is now being completed and regulatory approval can be expected soon. Meanwhile, preparatory work on the site has commenced. The new structure will enclose the shelter to protect the environment from further release of radioactively contaminated material and provide a safe working environment for future dismantling and waste management activities. (For further information see http://www.ebrd.com/pages/sector/nuclearsafety/chernobyl.shtml and http://chernobyltwentyfive.org).

The international community has supported Ukraine in the efforts to overcome the legacy of the Chernobyl accident since the 1990s. The EBRD is managing the Chernobyl Shelter Fund through which the Shelter Implementation Plan is financed. The plan, adopted in 1997, devises a step-by-step strategy and identified 22 primary tasks, among which the New Safe Confinement is the core and biggest single project.

At present, the Chernobyl Shelter Fund shows a funding gap of €600 million. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident the presidents of Ukraine and France, the current chair of the G8 group, have invited donors to a pledging conference in Kiev on 19 April in an effort to raise further funds.

Last updated 8 April 2011

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