DESIGNERS IN the Ukraine have developed a unique fire protection system for the damaged unit four reactor at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
Consultant Carl Bro and Ukrainian fi m ADI have been awarded a $781,000 contract by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to design fire proofing in the structure.
The sarcophagus surrounding unit four contains the exploded reactor and other damaged buildings, but needs equipping with fire protection before decommissioning can begin.
Traditional methods, such as water and ventilation cooling, cannot be applied because of the risk of spreading contamination. 'Designing fire protection for Chernobyl is a task with very particular requirements, ' said Carl Bro Sweden chief executive officer Ulf Palmblad.
'Water cannot be used to extinguish any fire as it would become contaminated and spread radioactivity, ' said Palmblad.
'Neither can any smoke be ventilated out into the open, as is normal with fires, ' he continued. 'The technical solutions we produce must be customised for this project.
'They will be entirely unique as nothing similar has ever been done under conditions even vaguely similar to the situation at the damaged reactor at Chernobyl.' Chernobyl Shelter Fund is financing the work. It is a pool of more the $810M of donations from the G8 countries, administered by the EBRD.
Carl Bro is conducting field investigations to assess the condition of the sarcophagus.
Fire protection officer Jonas Svensson said: 'We expect the final solution to be completed and out to tender in about six months.
'It will then take four months for procurement meaning that work should start in late 2007.'