September 20, 2007
Ukrainian officials sign contract for Chernobyl’s latest clean-up effort
Ukrainian officials have signed a $505-million contract with a French-led consortium for construction of a new shelter for the Chernobyl reactor, the site of the world’s worst nuclear accident.
The project, financed by an international fund managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, will be designed and built by the French-led consortium Novarka, which includes the companies Bouygues SA and Vinci SA.
The new shelter, an arch-shaped steel structure just over 100 metres tall and 150 metres long, will enclose the concrete sarcophagus erected hastily after the 1986 accident. That structure has been crumbling and leaking radiation for more than a decade.
“I am convinced that today, possibly for the first time, we can frankly tell the national and international community that the answer to the problem of sheltering the Chernobyl nuclear plant was found today,” President Viktor Yushchenko said at the signing ceremony.
The plan is to eventually dismantle the sarcophagus and the exploded reactor inside the new shelter.
Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4 exploded on April 26, 1986, spewing radiation over a large swath of the former Soviet Union and much of northern Europe. An area roughly half the size of Italy was contaminated, forcing the resettlement of hundreds of thousands of people.
Ukraine has repeatedly asked for money from the European Union and other western sources to fund a new shelter.
Anton Usov, a spokesman for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, said it will take about 18 months to design the shelter and another four years to build it.
The entire project of sheltering the reactor, which began in 1997 and also includes strengthening the existing sarcophagus, monitoring radiation and training experts, is estimated at about $1.4 billion, Usov said.
Officials also signed a $200 million contract with New Jersey-based Holtec International for decommissioning the power plant.
The project includes building a storage facility for spent nuclear fuel from the plant’s three other reactors, which kept operating until the station was shut down in 2000.
That undertaking is also financed by international donors in a fund managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
“The successful implementation of the project depends not only on the progress of the construction work, but also on the continued commitment of both the Ukrainian authorities and the international community,” European Bank for Reconstruction and Development President Jean Lemierre said in a statement.
In the first two months after the disaster, 31 people died from illnesses caused by radioactivity, but there is heated debate over the subsequent toll.
A 2005 report from the UN health agency estimated that about 9,300 people will die from cancers caused by Chernobyl’s radiation. Some groups, such as Greenpeace, insist the toll could be 10 times higher.
|MOST POPULAR STORIES|
|TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS|
These projects have been selected from 376 projects with a total value of $1,488,736,331 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Monday.
$79,500,000 Toronto ON Prebid
$43,000,000 Clarington ON Negotiated
$30,000,000 Ottawa ON Negotiated
- VIDEO: Debate still strong as OCOT turns one
- P3s gaining acceptance according to survey
- Office Job
- Wilson Station Stop
- MCAC and CIPH take Parliament Hill
- Construction progresses on Eglinton Crosstown LRT
- RFP issued for Highway 407 East
- Ontario announces May 1 budget date
- Arup to design wellhead platform concrete gravity structure for White Rose Extension Project
- Journal of Commerce Preview for the week of April 21st, 2014
- Truss Lift
- B.C. government reverses sweet gas deregulation
- CCA looking to engage Aboriginal communities with new taskforce
- Pembina Pipelines building regional headquarters in Alberta
- Biomaterials growing on construction
- Manitoba town is a design showcase
- Saskatchewan wind project moves forward
- Suncor worker death investigated
- Olympic builders return to the job