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“Works on CSFSF construction have to be finalized by the end of September this year”, said Head of Energoatom

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All construction and installation works on the site of the Central Spent Fuel Storage Facility (the CSFSF) have to be finalised by the end of September 2020. It is a task that Acting President of NNEGC Energoatom Petro Kotin has assigned to Energoatom‘s subdivisions and contractors engaged in construction, based on the conclusions of a field meeting on the CSFSF construction, which was held in the ChNPP Exclusion Zone on 15 May.

Following the decision of the Head of Energoatom, the system for continuous monitoring of the CSFSF equipment and significant systems installation was  implemented with a view to accelerating the pace of works going on the CSFSF site. When commissioned,  the CSFSF will allow saving up to USD 100 million throughout the year, and then up to USD 140 million a year that the Company pays now for SF shipment  to the Russian Federation.

The field meeting pointed to a high construction readiness of the facility. However, it was also stressed that any further delay with restoring the operability of a railway line in the Vilcha-Yanivv section to be deployed to transport spent fuel from the three Ukrainian NPPs to the CSFSF for further storage, would be not tolerated.

The field meeting also emphasized the need for prompt elimination of any non-conformances detected during inspection of the railroad bed of a rail spur to the CSFSF. All corrective actions conducted on the rail spur are  carried out at the expense of PJSC “Ukrenergomontazh” under contractual warranties.

Currently, PJSC “Ukrenergomontazh” as Prime Contractor is gaining the pace of works on the CSFSF construction site slowed down due to the stringent anti-epidemic measures imposed and fires in the Exclusion Zone in April this year. The number of employees engaged in equipping the completed buildings and installing equipment, has been gradually increasing to allow finalising the construction, testing the systems and equipment, and putting the Central Spent Fuel Storage Facility into operation.

As of 15 May 2020, 3337 items of basic  mechanical equipment were delivered. The installation of a main overhead travelling crane with a lifting capacity of 185/20 t, manufactured by Meloni, was finalised on the construction site. Preparations for its testing are underway. 110 reinforced concrete foundations were constructed on the cask storage site along with concrete casting of water intake channels and storm water inlets; the pathway between slabs was also paved.  

For reference. Due to the lack of a domestic central storage facility for used fuel, Ukraine has to spend annually up to USD 200 million on services for spent fuel shipment and reprocessing in the Russian Federation. The CSFSF construction contract between Energoatom and Holtec International as the winner of tender, dated back to 2005. However, due to certain circumstances including changes in political situation, the project was, in fact, stalled for a long time. The real work on the project was resumed in 2014, and civil works on the CSFSF site located in the Exclusion Zone of ChNPP, started in November 2017. The General Construction Contractor is BK Ukrbudmontazh, Ltd. The commissioning of the 1st Start-up complex is scheduled for 2020. When completed, the CSFSF will become an autonomous nuclear facility for long-term (100-years) storage of spent nuclear fuel received from operational power units of RNPP. SUNPP and KhNPP. The facility design is based on the technology of near-surface “dry” storage with the use of a double-barrier system which isolates spent fuel from the environment by means of specially engineered container systems. The design capacity of the CSFSF is 458 HI-STORM casks able to accommodate 16 529 spent fuel assemblies.