Shelter object transformation into ecologically safe system

Объект "Укрытие"Within the TACIS project "Chernobyl Unit 4. Short and long-term actions — Actions 2 + 4" "Recommended course of actions" has been developed in 1996  in which it was proposed to develop potential short and long-term actions and a complex of urgent  measures for Shelter object transformation into ecologically safe system. "Recommended course of actions" identifies the basic concept, including a series of steps on a way of Shelter object transformation into safe system. For performance of the Recommended course of actions Ukraine developed the Strategy of Shelter object transformation. According to this document approved by the decision of the Interdepartmental commission on comprehensive solution of Chernobyl NPP problems dated March 12th, 2001, transformation of the Shelter object into ecologically safe system is achieved by three basic Phases implementation:
Phase 1: stabilization of existing object status, increasing of operational reliability and durability of constructions and systems ensuring stabilization and monitoring of Shelter safety indicators.
Phase 2: creation of the additional protective barriers, first of all New Safe Confinement that will provide necessary conditions for technical activity at the Phase 3 and safety of the personnel, population and environment, the preparatory engineering works aimed on development of the technologies for Fuel Containing Materials removal from SO at the Phase 3, infrastructure creation for Shelter object’s RAW Management.
Phase 3: Fuel Containing Materials and Long Lived RAW retrieval from SO, their conditioning with the subsequent storage and disposal in RAW storage facility according to the effective standards, Shelter object decommissioning.

The major part of works at Phases 1 and 2 is stipulated in the developed project "Shelter Implementation Plan"(SIP) which has been developed as a result of interaction between the European Commission, Ukraine, USA and groups of the international experts in 1997. During SIP Project development two main tasks were considered: development of the detailed plan of works and tentative cost assessment, sufficient for planned works performance.

During the first stage (1998-1999, 2004-2008) it has been performed the complex of actions aimed on improvement of durability, reliability and efficiency of the existing or additionally created constructions and systems (constructional, supervising, dust suppressive, emergency), necessary for preservation or improvement of existing safety level.

Works performed at the stage of preparation for Shelter object transformation into ecologically safe system (2008-2015) are New Safe Confinement, creation remote controlled mechanisms, development and approbation of Fuel Containing Materials retrieval technologies, creation of RAW Management infrastructure.

During the third stage according to the Strategy it is planned to remove FCM, transfer them in a controllable condition by maintenance of the controllable storage within the protective barriers and/or disposal in RAW geological disposal facilities. Thus all FCM should be separated according to activity level, compacted and transferred in a safe condition prior to storage (as the High Level and Nuclear hazardous RAW). FCM inventory should be carried out according to the effective legislation requirements.

Completion of Shelter object transformation into ecologically safe condition after full elimination of nuclear hazard (damaged Nuclear Fuel retrieval) will be carried out in the process facility decommissioning according to the project which should be developed on the basis of ecological requirements, experience from previous stages implementation, additional studying of SO condition and possible options of technical decisions realisation. At the stage of Shelter object decommissioning long-term risks should be eliminated, that is the radiological consequences of the accident connected to not removed radioactive materials should be eliminated. The choice of ways for SO transformation into ecologically safe condition will be conditioned by the design of facility decommissioning according to available technical and financial resources.

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