A picture shows a general view of the New Safe Confinement (NSC) new metal dome designed and built by French consortium Novarka encasing the destroyed reactor at Chornobyl plant on July 10, 2019, in Chornobyl.

Photo by AFP

Members of the United States and Ukraine non-proliferation working group have made a visit to Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) to see the recently completed New Safe Confinement (NSC), the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine said in a statement on Nov. 25.

The embassy described the facility as “a work of engineering without precedent in the field of nuclear construction built to convert the site into a stable and environmentally safe condition.”

“The United States and Ukraine held a non-proliferation working group meeting in Kyiv and Chornobyl November 21-22. Interagency experts from both sides met to discuss a range of challenges related to non-proliferation, counterproliferation, and strategic export control and border security,” reads the statement.

“The meeting is one of several dialogues the United States and Ukraine hold to strengthen bilateral cooperation and to address the threats posed by the proliferation of sensitive dual-use technologies, weapons of mass destruction, and their means of delivery,” the embassy said.

As reported, in July 2019, Chornobyl NPP officially received the NSC for subsequent commissioning from Novarka. Upon completion of the transfer process, the plant will receive a license and proceed to operating the confinement complex and dismantling unstable structures of the Shelter facility.

In late November 2016, reactor four of Chornobyl NPP was covered with the NSC. The structure is 165 meters long, 110 meters high and weighs 36,200 tonnes.

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 (Shelter facility) and the remnants of the fourth power unit. The NSC has a design service life of 100 years and cost EUR 1.5 billion.

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