Energy & Decommissioning

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
  • project value £10 million
  • meters seismically qualified ductwork 6,000
  • tonnes seismic supports 41

Chernobyl’s New Safe Containment (NSC) project, in Ukraine, was one of the world’s largest engineering feats in recent history. Exyte Hargreaves joined colleagues from 27 nations to deliver the Safe Containment Arch, designed to safely contain the remains of Reactor 4 for the next 100 years. The project completed in 2016 and stands as testament to the benefits of multi-national collaboration.

Initial Project Brief

The NSC project was established as a response to the deteriorating sarcophagus hastily built to contain the aftermath of the world‘s worst nuclear accident. The Arch was designed in collaboration between two global construction giants (Bouygues & Vinci) with funding from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Exyte Hargreaves provided seismically qualified HVAC designs systems for the containment arch and associated auxiliary buildings. This included all of the seismic supports. The works involved delivery in a multi-national environment to various different standards (including the Russian GOST standards).

Moving the New Safe Containment Arch

  • 108m – the height of the NSC structure
  • 257m– the span of the NSC structure
  • 36,000 tonnes – the weight of the NSC structure
  • 15 days – how long it took to move the NSC structure into place
Close up of the Safe Containment Arch

DfMA and Seismic Engineering

Exyte Hargreaves supplied over 6,000 meters of specialist ductwork to the site, alongside 41 tonnes of supports, all of which was British manufactured in Bury, Greater Manchester. During our procurement of 78 fans and a host of HEPA filters, air handling units and dampers, we also used a number of British manufactured products.

All ductwork manufactured and supplied by Exyte Hargreaves had to take into account the seismic activity at the site, with the company providing seismically qualified support and calculations for all the ductwork systems. We also partnered with key suppliers in the UK and Europe to ensure compliance with local regulation on design codes, materials standards and business practices.

Our scope of work included:

  • Seismic design and design studies of existing systems
  • Engineering documentation and quality assurance
  • Procurement & manufacture of HVAC systems, pipework systems, equipment and seismic supports
  • On site supervision support during installation within the controlled zone

The project was a further reference to our capabilities to provide high integrity systems in the most demanding of environments.

"The Chernobyl New Safe Confinement is the highest profile and most important nuclear decommissioning project in the world. We’re proud to play our part in making the reactor site safe for future generations. At the project’s peak, we had ten staff working on the site in Ukraine in constant communication with the Exyte Hargreaves team in Bury to ensure the project was delivered both safely and to the highest standard. We are proud to have been awarded the contract as a result of our long-standing history of excellence within the nuclear industry."

Andy Sneyd

Managing Director (2017-2022)


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