MARLTON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Holtec International and Ukraine government-owned Chernobyl Nuclear Plant have signed the protocol on August 3, 2007 to start the project to encase all of the irradiated nuclear fuel from Chernobyl’s three undamaged reactors, that is temporarily stored in deep water pools, into leaktight containers for long-term safe storage. The project is funded by an “assembly” of industrialized countries that include the United States, most countries of Western Europe, Ukraine, and Japan. The London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development administers the project for the Assembly of Donors through a Project Management Unit (PMU) located at Chernobyl.
The Chernobyl project was initially started in 1999 by a consortium led by Framatome ANP (now a part of Areva). Areva made some progress on the project, mainly in the civil/structural arena. However, the project ran into some insoluble technical problems in 2003, leading to Areva and ChNPP amicably terminating the contract in the spring of 2007.
The first phase of the project, expected to last 100 weeks, is valued at slightly over €30 million. It involves engineering, licensing, and prototype testing. The second phase, supply of capital equipment, construction, and commissioning, expected to take approximately 160 weeks, is valued at approximately €170 million, with November 2006 as the reference date.
Hailing the Donor nations’ decision to summon Holtec to finish the project, the company’s President and CEO, Dr. Kris Singh, stated, “We are honored to be asked by the Assembly of Donors to complete their obligation to Ukraine, which shut down its three undamaged Chernobyl reactors in a grand gesture of accommodation to the world. Twenty-two thousand (22,000) fuel assemblies will make Chernobyl the largest of all dry storage installations in the world. We are thrilled to be the company engaged by the Assembly for completing this most significant milestone in the field of used nuclear fuel management.”
Holtec International, a diversified energy technology company with its headquarters in Marlton, New Jersey, is widely recognized as a world leader in the technologies to store and transport used nuclear fuel. Holtec International has a strong business presence in numerous countries, including the U.S., Mexico, China, Canada, Korea, Taiwan, Spain, Switzerland, and Ukraine.