A new heat source must be available to maintain safety systems at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant when deactivation begins in the year 2000. For example, heat will be required to keep reactor coolant from freezing and breaking pipes. In addition, heat will be needed for decontamination and decommissioning and for waste management projects.
Currently, the plant depends on two heat sources: an existing old heat plant and heat generated by the operation of reactor Unit 3. When Unit 3 is deactivated, the existing heat plant will be inadequate to maintain the Chornobyl plant systems and for the new activities.
The heat plant at Chornobyl
nuclear power plant.
In 1992, Chornobyl began building a new heat plant, but stopped construction when it was about 25 percent complete. In December 1997, the United States agreed to work with Ukraine to finish the heat plant. The project is scheduled for completion in the year 2000.
During the first half of 1998, U.S. specialists worked with Ukrainian authorities to establish the legal and administrative framework for the project, including tax exemption procedures and development of the subcontracting process. Ukerenergoproject, a Ukrainian organization, won the contract to design the heat plant.
The Chornobyl nuclear power plant assigned 15 staff members to serve as a Project Construction Management Group. Specialists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are providing on-site mentoring for the Ukrainian managers. Laboratory experts also are conducting a price-cost analysis of Ukerenergoproject's budget proposal.