Ukrainian used fuel store under construction

27 August 2014

A ceremony has been held to mark the start of construction of Ukraine's central used fuel storage facility, which is being built near resettled villages in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

Ukraine CSFSF ceremony 460 (Energoatom)
The ceremony, on 26 August, was attended by Ukraine's deputy minister of energy and coal industry Vadim Ulida, Energoatom president Yuri Nedaskovsky and Holtec International president Kris Singh. Nedaskovsky and Singh are shown inaugurating the site (Image: Energoatom)

The Central Spent Fuel Storage Facility (CSFSF) will be a dry storage facility in which the used fuel will be stored in double-walled stainless steel canisters. These are themselves loaded within protective concrete modular systems designed to provide physical protection, radiation shielding and passive heat removal. It is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

The facility will initially serve nine of the country's 15 reactors – seven VVER-1000s and two VVER-440s located at Rivne, South Ukraine and Khmelnitsky. The Zaporozhe nuclear power plant operates its own on-site used fuel storage facility that was commissioned in 2001.

According to a feasibility study developed by Energoproekt, a research and design institute based in Kiev, the design capacity of the central storage facility will allow storage of 16,530 used fuel assemblies, including 12,010 VVER-1000 assemblies and 4520 VVER-440 assemblies. This would fully meet the used fuel storage requirements of the Rivne, South Ukraine and Khmelnitsky units through to the end of their operating lives.

Almost half of Ukraine's used fuel is currently transported to Russia for storage and reprocessing. Energoatom said that, compared with the costs of sending the fuel to Russia, the new facility would pay for itself within four years of operation.

The CSFSF is located between the resettled villages of Stara Krasnytsya, Buryakivka, Chystohalivka and Stechanka, southeast of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, within the Exclusion Zone. According to Energoatom, "The construction and subsequent operation of the storage facility will facilitate the ecological rehabilitation of the Exclusion Zone and renewal of economic activities on some land within this zone."

Energoatom, the country's nuclear power plant operator, selected Holtec in 2005 for the turnkey supply of the facility. But delays to approval of a national law on management of used nuclear fuel - that was finally adopted in 2012 - and to allocation of a site for the new facility meant the contract was not implemented. A revised contract was signed in June.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News