The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRC) has approved integrated systems testing of the interim used fuel storage facility (ISF2) at the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. The approval means the facility has officially entered the post-construction phase, the USA's Holtec International said yesterday.
ISF2, which is supported by the Nuclear Safety Account managed by the London-headquartered European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, will provide for the processing and storage of the used nuclear fuel from units 1, 2 and 3, which is required for the decommissioning of the Chernobyl plant.
Having received SNRC approval on 1 August, Holtec said the cold testing phase will move to hot pre-commissioning testing in December, with fuel loading beginning in March.
"A complex dry storage program begun in 1997 by EBRD that Holtec took over after Areva's withdrawal in 2007 features the world's largest fuel dismemberment facility including a hot cell for RBMK fuel," Holtec said.
It added: "Back-fitting the state-of-the-art systems in the existing Processing Building, with its substantially obsolesced and long disused equipment and machinery ravaged by over a decade of Ukraine's fierce winters, turned out to be far more complex than was initially envisioned. The plethora of daunting technical and regulatory challenges that had to be overcome and hundreds of thousands of person-hours applied to reach this final regulatory approval makes August 1 a memorable day in the annals of our company."