After the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, a temporary concrete and steel shelter covering the destroyed reactor was erected in extremely hazardous conditions and under enormous time pressure.

A concept was developed thereafter to construct a New Safe Confinement shelter (NSC ‘Arch’) to cover the contaminated portions of the existing building and allow for future dismantling and safe storage works to be undertaken.

With a span of 257 metres, a length of 162 metres, a height of 108 metres and a total weight in excess of 36,000 tonnes, the new shelter is the largest moveable land based structure ever built and subsequently moved into position.

The NSC project achieved a significant milestone in November 2016 when the arch was moved to its final position using a series of hydraulic sliding jacks. This was acknowledged by a ceremony attended by those involved with the project (including T&A representatives), industry/corporate guests along with government officials including Ukraine’s President Poroshenko. To see coverage of this unique engineering achievement, please click here. On 21 December 2016, BBC 4 also aired a documentary detailing much of the history of the arch, culminating in the sliding; click here to view this documentary.

Although the ‘arch’ is now in place, construction and commissioning works continue with completion and handover scheduled for the end of November 2017.

This is one of two highly specialist projects at Chernobyl that our T&A Kiev based team have been heavily involved in monitoring on behalf of the EBRD and G7 donor nations, the other project being the Interim Spent Nuclear Fuel Dry Storage Facility – 2 (ISF-2), which is currently scheduled for cold testing to commence in spring 2017 with hot testing (with spent nuclear fuel) currently due to commence in autumn 2017.

T&A’s involvement started in 2012, when we were instrumental in helping pull together a tri-party consortium including Black & Veatch Special Projects Corporation (B&V), a US based specialist in nuclear projects and Media Max (MM), a Ukrainian specialist in nuclear construction and energy.

T&A have been responsible for the principal site based monitoring role as well as cost and risk management. Our reports provide real-time monthly analysis on key aspects of the projects including cost, programme, quality and safety.

Our Kiev team will continue to work as part of this consortium throughout 2017 as the projects complete. Our experience and specialist knowledge ensures we continue to provide expert advice, risk management and cost management services of a premium quality.