The government of Ukraine has granted an operating licence to the Interim Spent Fuel Facility 2 (ISF-2) at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. On the 35th anniversary of the nuclear accident, President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree permitting the operation of the new plant, which has been financed by the international community and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
The ISF-2 is a key project in the decommissioning of the Chernobyl site, as it will provide safe and secure storage for the more than 21,000 spent fuel assemblies of Chernobyl reactors 1, 2 and 3, currently stored in an ageing facility. In the coming years, they will be transported to the ISF-2, where they will be processed, packaged in double-walled canisters and stored in concrete modules.
Balthasar Lindauer, EBRD Director, Nuclear Safety, said: “We welcome this major step forward in the transformation of the Chernobyl site. The safe storage of the spent nuclear fuel is crucial in creating a safe and secure environment. Today’s decision is also a big boost to the efforts of the international community and the EBRD, who remain committed to supporting Ukraine in the next steps of the decommissioning process.”
The ISF-2 is the largest dry spent fuel storage facility in the world and has a minimum lifespan of 100 years. The facility cost €400 million and was financed with contributions from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
The EBRD manages the international donor community’s funds to transform Chernobyl into a safe and secure environment and has also made financial contributions to this effort.