SIP Creation became the culmination of efforts applied during last years by Ukraine and the international community with the purpose of development economically and ecologically acceptable approach to Shelter of ChNPP Unit 4 problems solution.
International competition of projects and technical solutions for Shelter object transformation into ecologically safe system was announced, that became a first step to the international cooperation. According to results of this competition the stage-by-stage Concept of Shelter object transformation into ecologically safe system was accepted by the Decision of Jury, dated June 17. Seven stages have been put in a basis of the Concept:
1. Investigation of the Shelter object condition and monitoring of an environment.
2. Public informing on the Shelter object and its industrial site condition.
3. Stabilization of the Shelter object condition.
4. New protective structure construction around the Shelter object ("Shelter - 2").
5. Construction of near surface Radioactive Wastes (RAW) storage.
6. Creation of RAW sorting and processing technological site.
7. Removal, conditioning and storage of radioactive materials being in "Shelter - 2".
European Community Commission announced the tender on Feasibility Study development for the first stages of the Concept of Shelter object transformation in ecologically safe system – stabilization of existing Shelter condition and "Shelter - 2" construction. Consortium "Alliance" led by the French company “Campenon Bernard SGE ” became the winner of the tender.
Feasibility Study development on object transformation is completed and Consortium "Alliance" submitted report, which is topical up to the date. Its fundamental conclusions:
1. Existing Shelter is unstable and it isn’t earthquake-proof. Urgent measures are necessary, an option “don’t undertake any measures, that is to do nothing is not acceptable”.
2. In view of high radiation level and a real condition of existing constructions long-term stabilization of "Shelter" considered as impracticable. Constructions of existing "Shelter" don’t ensure possibility of Radioactive Waste removal, lifetime of which makes tens thousand years.
3. Construction of a new protective encasement, allowing Unit four dismantling is necessary.
4. Designing and construction of the second shelter is extremely difficult, multipronged problem, covers both initial site clearing and Radioactive Wastes removal. Prior to the "Shelter - 2" construction beginning it is necessary to organize wastes processing and storage.
5. Ukraine cannot independently provide such project financing. This question needs to be considered critical. International community should demonstrate the desire to assist Ukraine to solve the problems connected to Chernobyl accident. A real choice today is establishment and support of political will, financial guarantees for all period of the project realization.
On September 11, 1995
European Commission Session was held in Brussels at participation of Ukrainian delegation for definition and coordination of the subsequent actions on the basis of Consortium "Alliance" study. Result of this meeting became the agreement, signed by European Commission with a consortium "Alliance" and “Trischler und Partner GmbH” company on short- and long-term measures development. According to the Decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (¹696-p, dated 14.11.95) functions of the works Customer on Shelter transformation into ecologically safe system are transferred to Gosatom and DS ChNPP.
According to signed in December, 1995 Memorandum of Understanding between Government of Ukraine, G7 countries Governments and European Commission on Chernobyl NPP shutdown” within the framework of TACIS Project “Chernobyl Unit 4, Short- and long-term measures – Measures 2+4” the Recommended Course of Actions was developed in which potential short- and long-term measures have been determined and the complex of urgent measures, consisted of the following phases was proposed:
Phase 1. Stabilization and other short-term measures.
Phase 2. Preparation for transformation into ecologically safe system.
Phase 3. Transformation into ecologically safe system.
The stabilization stage, necessity of which was considered by the Ukrainian side earlier has been emphasized in the project. The purpose of a stabilization stage is potential risks reduction, protection of an environment against the most probable event – construction destructions and connected to it intense radioactive dust release.
"Shelter Implementation Plan” (SIP), developed sequential to the project “Chernobyl Unit 4, Short- and long-term Measures – Measures 2+4 ” in cooperation with European Commission (EC), Ukraine, USA and team of international experts was accepted at G7 meeting. This plan defined the basic concept, including a number of steps aimed on Shelter object transformation into ecologically safe condition. Two fundamental tasks were posed during plan development:
- ensuring detailed works plan development according to earlier suggested recommendations;
- development of a preliminary cost estimation, including necessary annual expenses.
Three stages have been determined in “Shelter Implementation Plan” for Project Management and its subsequent realization as key decisions:
- confirmation of decisions on stabilization, determination of a level of earlier suggested stabilization works performance, that includes necessary access ensuring to works performance areas and personnel protection during these works performance inside the Shelter object;
- decision on Fuel containing Materials (FCM) strategy, determining an optimum way and term of removal, expenses and feasibility level;
- decision on the strategy of an optimum localizing encasement creation, determining its functions.
Conceptual Design, confirming the decision on stabilization, protection and necessity of a localizing encasement will be developed on the basis of this decision and FCM removal strategy.
On November 20, 1997 Pledging Conference of donors-countries taken obligations on funds allocation for this plan implementation in specially established Chernobyl Shelter Fund (CSF) was held in New York. Fund administration was entrusted to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Agreement between Ukraine and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on Fund activity (“Framework Agreement”) also has been signed at the Conference.
On February 4, 1998 Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ratified “Framework Agreement between Ukraine and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on Chernobyl Shelter Fund activity”.
On April 20, 1998 the Contract with the tender winner on SIP Project Management Unit (PMU) Consultant was signed. That was Consortium including companies Bechtel (USA), Battelle (USA) and EDF (France).
Since May till November, 1998 tender procedures were completed and Contracts between “Energoatom” Company and tenders winners on Early Biddable SIP Projects were awarded.