The first half of the Chernobyl arch has been assembled. It is now being gradually moved to make way for construction of the other half.
|The first half of the structure will be moved to a holding area (Image: ChNPP)
The New Safe Confinement (NSC) is being assembled in two halves, each comprising several arched sections. With the first half now completed, the process to push it a total of 112.5m into a holding area in front of unit 4 began yesterday. The operation to move the massive structure - weighing almost 12,800 tonnes - was expected to be completed within 72 hours.
Assembly of the second half of the NSC has already begun. Once this is complete, the first section will be moved back towards the second half and the two will be joined together. This is scheduled to take place by the end of this year. The arch will then be fitted with cladding, cranes and remote handling equipment during 2015.
The entire structure - some 108m high, 257m wide and 150m long and weighing around 31,000 tonnes - will then be moved 330m into position over the reactor building of unit 4 and part of its turbine hall. This will be done using hydraulic jacks in a three-day sliding operation scheduled before the end of 2015. End walls will then be built to strengthen the NSC and make it airtight.
The NSC, which is being funded by the international community through donations to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is designed to last at least 100 years, by which time most of the decommissioning work on unit 4 should be completed.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News