Important Note: This website contains historical data from the INSP project. As of 2004 the site is no longer maintained and certain sections do not work correctly.

Chornobyl Initiatives Reports and Publications Photo Library Nuclear Reactor Profiles and Accomplishments About our Program Web site sections
- Current Activity Report
- Activity Report Archive
- Current Chornobyl Report
- Program Reports
- Brochures/Fliers
- INSP Resource Center

Chornobyl Report
            A biweekly update of Chornobyl support activities for April 17, 1998

The Chornobyl Report is a new biweekly publication that will feature status reports on cooperative efforts between the U.S. Department of Energy and Ukraine to address safety issues at Chornobyl. Among topics covered in the report will be U.S. support for

  • developing the Chornobyl Center for Nuclear Safety, Radioactive Waste and Radioecology and the Slavutych Laboratory for International Research and Technology

  • providing technical assistance to an international working group developing a plan to upgrade the structural safety of the Shelter enclosing Chornobyl's destroyed Unit 4

  • reducing immediate safety risks to Chornobyl Shelter workers

  • supporting Chornobyl plant in planning for shutdown and deactivation of the remaining reactors

  • coordinating and overseeing support for completion of a partially constructed heat plant.

Status reports will include information on major work activities, key accomplishments, developing issues, and planned events relating to these initiatives. News items and comments can be directed to INSP Communications, (509) 372-6015, or e-mail

Joint activities advance through Chornobyl Center

Slavutych Laboratory
As part of its effort to improve the safety of Soviet-designed reactors, the U.S. Department of Energy continues to support the development and use of the Chornobyl Center for Nuclear Safety, Radioactive Waste and Radioecology, and the Slavutych Laboratory for International Research and Technology in Ukraine. The United States is working with Chornobyl Center Director Valery Glygalo and Slavutych Laboratory Director Anatoly Nosovsky on the following initiatives:

  • potential Chornobyl Center-U.S. assistance for Energoatom's newly created Operational Support Institute -- Discussions are under way among Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Chornobyl Center, and Energoatom staff on how the Center, with U.S. support, can help meet Energoatom's objectives for the Institute. Efforts might initially involve expanding applications at the Center's Nuclear Data Facility in the Slavutych Laboratory.

  • further development of the Remote Operations Test Facility concept --The National Laboratory Robotics Consortium is providing technical assistance that supports establishing the test facility in Slavutych and involving the Chornobyl Center. The prospect of multi-national funding is being explored with various international entities.

  • transfer of technology scanning and assessment capabilities to the Chornobyl Center -- Project work has begun, with most of the development effort planned for summer 1998.

  • technology commercialization workshop -- A workshop plan has been prepared and a proposal soon will be made to Chornobyl Center management for involvement of other appropriate Ukrainian institutes.

  • creation of a reference library -- Work is in progress to establish a new reference library of nuclear safety publications at the Slavutych Laboratory. A set of standard references and periodical subscriptions will be purchased and in place by early summer 1998.

  • principles and guidelines for U.S. access to equipment and staff resources at the Chornobyl Center have been prepared and will be discussed jointly with Chornobyl Center and Slavutych Laboratory managers in late April.

Awaiting word on the PMU contract

Representatives from Chornobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) and a proposal team consisting of Bechtel, ElectriciteŽde France, and Battelle staff are nearing agreement on contract negotiations for the Chornobyl Shelter Project Management Unit (PMU) Consultant assignment. Negotiations have been under way in Kyiv since mid-March under the surveillance of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). EBRD will serve as the financial manager for the Shelter Project.

Primary issues relating to responsibility for nuclear liability and insurance appear to be sufficiently resolved for closing the agreement, and there now is growing confidence that the PMU consultant contract will be signed by late April. Plans call for the next step in the Shelter Project, consisting of review and award of the early biddable project proposals, to be initiated immediately, tentatively by the end of April.

Ukraine regulator seeks technical assistance

On March 17, the EBRD and Chornobyl NPP received expressions of interest for a technical assistance project to support Ukraine's Nuclear Regulatory Administration (NRA). The work will involve assisting the NRA in managing the many demands anticipated during implementation of the Shelter Project. The EBRD is expected to issue a request for proposal to a short list of candidates by the end of April.

More equipment on the way

Plant workers examine shipment
Plant workers examine a shipment of ladder components delivered to the plant in September 1995.
Upgrading safety at the Chornobyl Shelter is critical to protecting workers involved in shelter surveillance and maintenance. The United States continues to provide equipment and training for worker safety in five primary areas: radiation dose reduction, nuclear criticality monitoring, dust suppression, structural investigations, and industrial safety.

Air Compressor
An air compressor arrived on site in December 1997.
Much of the industrial safety equipment purchased in recent months to help protect Shelter workers remains in the customs warehouse in Slavutych awaiting approval for release. The equipment includes radiation-hardened video equipment, photographic equipment, video processing units, fall-protection devices, miscellaneous safety supplies, and a jack hammer drill. Within the last year, concrete saw and drilling equipment, an air compressor, generators, ladders, and computer software were released by customs and delivered to the plant.

Shelter staff recently communicated the need for an additional concrete saw and drilling equipment, and tools for the air compressor. Purchase requisitions for this equipment are in progress.

Vent stack work on target for July completion

Ukraine, Canada, and the United States jointly are funding repairs to the external bracing and foundation of the Chornobyl Unit 3/4 ventilation stack, damaged heavily in the 1986 accident. The stack still is used during operation of Unit 3. A contract was placed with the Shelter in December 1997, specifying project management deliverables comprising five milestones as the basis for Canadian and U.S. payments for the repair equipment and actual work. Once repaired, the stack will be capable of withstanding Unit 3 design loadings.

Work began in early April toward achieving Milestone 4 -- completion of 50 percent of the vent stack repair work. Milestone 4 work is scheduled for completion in early May, and is being performed concurrently with foundation repair work. Repairs to the vent stack foundation are anticipated to be less complicated than the bracing repairs.

Brace damageBrace damage at the vent stack's first platform level
This 20-meter high, steel-tube mock tower was constructed to train workers prior to performing actual vent stack repair work.20-meter high, steel-tupe mock tower

Plans to complete Milestone 5 and wrap up small residual tasks, dismantle auxiliary equipment, and finalize paperwork will take the schedule to the late-July project completion date.

Construction materials being readied for vent stack repairs.Construction materials
Vent stack structural partsVent stack structural parts staged for replacement.

On-site verification of the Milestone 3 deliverables was performed during the week of April 13. Those deliverables were items necessary to begin mobilizing the large work force and start the actual repair work. The deliverables included final regulatory authority to proceed, updated radiological data reflecting reduced dose rates from installation of U.S.-supplied lead shielding blankets, completion of mockup construction, completion of the personnel and materials accessway, and delivery of all required repair materials and equipment. Joint payment by the United States and Canada to Chornobyl NPP provided for mobilization of the repair work force and initiation of Milestone 4.

Chornobyl NPP completed its deliverables for the first two milestones in February 1998. Deliverables for Milestone 1 included bracing repair design documentation, project planning documentation, signed contracts with the constructor for materials and repair work, and regulatory approval to initiate preparatory work and baseline radiation surveys following repair site decontamination. Milestone 2 deliverables included approved purchase orders and delivery dates for the repair materials, design of foundation support repairs and incorporation of these repairs into the project planning and design drawings, and specifications for a mockup to train repair workers in maintaining personnel radiation exposures at levels as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). Joint Canadian/U.S. payments were made to the plant after the deliverables were verified by the U.S. team.

See also Chornobyl Initiatives/General Information on Chornobyl and the Biweekly Report Archive.


Please write to us at
About this Web Site
The content was last modified on 08/25/98 .

Security & Privacy