The process of placing a new cover (New Safe Confinement, NSC) over Chornobyl nuclear power plant's (NPP) fourth power unit began on Monday, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) press service reported.
The process of installing an arc, which will cover radioactive waste, which has amassed after the Chornobyl NPP disaster in 1986, has begun, the statement said.
The Chornobyl NPP's NSC is the largest moveable land-based structure ever built with a length of 165 meters, a height of 110 meters, and a weight of more than 36,200 tonnes. At this point, this structure is being moved into the operational position over Chornobyl NPP's fourth power unit, which had been destroyed in the disaster 30 years ago.
The NSC is being placed by means of a special system, which comprises 224 hydraulic jacks and enables to move the arc by 60 centimetres per one cycle. It is planned that the entire process will take up to four days with the overall time of non-stop movement of roughly 33 hours.
The arc has been built in the clean zone near the Chornobyl NPP's fourth power unit and is to be moved 327 meters to the operational position over this power unit. The NSC instalment will make the Chornobyl NPP ground safe and will allow removing the current outdating cover, as well as the operations involving radioactive waste inside this structure.
As reported, Novarka Company, which had built the NSC, is a consortium of French construction companies Bouygues and Vinci. The construction began in 2012 after large-scale preparation at the site. Due to its large dimensions, the NSC had to be built in two parts, which had been lifted and successfully connected with each other in 2015. A crane has been placed inside the NSC arc to dismantle the current old sarcophagus and the remnants of the fourth power unit. The NSC has a design service life of 100 years and cost EUR1.5 billion.