Bechtel-led Consortium To Carry Out Shelter Implementation Plan At Chornobyl Nuclear Power Station

May 12, 1998 A Bechtel-led consortium has been selected to join a project management unit to carry out a plan to stabilize a concrete shelter that now covers the damaged Unit 4 reactor building of the Chornobyl nuclear power station in Ukraine.
Bechtel National, Inc. will lead a consultant group that includes the French utility Electricité de France (EDF) and the Battelle Memorial Institute in managing a $760 million Shelter Implementation Plan that is designed to stabilize the Chornobyl plant's damaged structures, reduce the risk of any future release of contamination into the environment, and minimize occupational exposure. The contract award from Ukraine's Ministry of Energy is for a two-year initial phase of work that is scheduled to get under way shortly. The entire project will eventually extend over 96 months, with completion set for 2006.

The 1986 accident at Chornobyl, located 160 kilometers north of Kyiv, created a long-term environmental cleanup challenge of immense proportions that most observers agree will require unprecedented international cooperation. The current project is being financed by pledges from the G-7 countries, as well as by a combination of contributions from several other nations and the private sector. The G-7 countries include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S. Funds are being administered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The Chornobyl shelter was constructed partly on the remains of the ruined reactor building to halt the ongoing spread of contamination from the accident. Build in just seven months, and under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions, the structure is now considered unstable. Ukraine and international experts have proposed various measures to prevent the collapse of the shelter and to safely contain any contamination.
Included in the Shelter Implementation Plan will be 22 tasks, all of which will be carried out under the management of a single project management unit.

The Bechtel-led consortium will provide such services as conceptual engineering, cost estimating, scheduling, project management, and the preparation of design and procurement packages needed to acquire detailed design, equipment supply, and construction services. In addition, the consortium will support the development of all necessary permits and regulatory documents.

"We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to lend our talents toward finding a solution to a dilemma that has concerned the international community for 12 years," said Lee A. McIntire, president of Bechtel National. "Our company, as well as the EDF and Battelle organizations, each has had an historically strong presence in Ukraine that I am confident will be helpful in this endeavor."

The Bechtel-led consortium has already gained considerable experience working at the Chornobyl plant and has established a local presence in both Kyiv and Slavutych, Ukraine. The consortium has experience in managing and integrating a variety of other assignments in Ukraine; has already established effective working relationships with key entities involved in performing work on the shelter project; and has managed many other complex nuclear and high-visibility, multi-participant projects.