Chernobyl’s New Safe Confinement project completes final commissioning test

By Anton Usov

Chernobyl’s New Safe Confinement project completes final commissioning test

New structure to prevent release of radioactive materials

The New Safe Confinement at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant has successfully completed its final commissioning test today.

The successful conclusion of the 72-hour trial operation test, a day before the 33rd anniversary of the 1986 accident, marks the safe physical completion of the new structure placed over the destroyed reactor 4.

The New Safe Confinement will protect the environment from further releases of radioactive materials and enable the long-term safe and secure deconstruction of the old shelter and the destroyed reactor, as well as the removal of the radioactive inventory.

This milestone is the culmination of over a decade‘s work on the New Safe Confinement, implemented through the EBRD’s Chernobyl Shelter Fund. Supported by over 45 donor nations as well as funds from the EBRD in excess of a total cost of €2.1 billion, the New Safe Confinement project at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant represents the largest international collaboration ever in the field of nuclear safety.

Thanks to the long-standing and resolute commitment of donors, the conditions have now been created in Chernobyl for the first time since the accident to address future challenges in a safe and secure environment.

Balthasar Lindauer, EBRD Director, Nuclear Safety, said: “This is a tremendous success and the result of the outstanding cooperation of all parties involved. We thank our donors for their commitment and our partners for the finalisation of this unique project.”

The New Safe Confinement is part of the Shelter Implementation Plan to transform Chernobyl into an environmentally safe and secure environment. The EBRD to date has provided €715 million of its own resources to support Chernobyl projects including the New Safe Confinement.