The Chernobyl New Safe Confinement, a €1.5bn multi-national engineering project, which is due to be installed before Christmas 2017, has received fire and shut off dampers from Welsh company Flamgard Calidair.
The Chernobyl New Safe Confinement is a half cylinder shaped structure that, when completed, will be the world’s largest moving building. The creation is designed to facilitate monitoring and demolition of the previous containment building following the 1986 disaster, while securing the remaining radioactive material. The arched building will simply be rolled into position over the existing site before being sealed up.
Despite the construction of a concrete sarcophagus in the months immediately following the disaster, the site still houses highly radioactive material and attempts to work on its demolition are too challenging. Flamgard’s damper products plays a crucial role in the project which, from concept to completion, is predicted to take ten years – and to last 100.
Flamgard’s Managing Director Steve Edwards said: “The story of Chernobyl is one of history’s most tragic. But while the neighbouring town of Pripyat is still an unoccupied ghost town exclusion zone, there is some hope for the future of the Chernobyl site with this project.
“In engineering terms, there can be few live projects in the world right now that are as important and as ambitious as the New Safe Confinement.
“It’s not just a shell either, there are entry points, engineering areas and access to the site inside, designed to facilitate monitoring and demolition of the disaster site. This is where Flamgard’s dampers come into play, protecting these rooms and ventilation zones/ducts to minimise the risk of damage should an incident such as a fire or further explosion occur.
“This was a major international contract for Flamgard and we’ve been exceptionally proud to play our part in it. We are proud to be a Welsh business working on an international level and we continue to reap the benefits of substantial investment into research and development and recognition on a global scale.
“It’s been a real journey to this point and we’ve gained invaluable experience. We went to the Ukraine and were within 50 metres of Reactor 4 which caused the incident. We developed the product with Swansea University where we explored alternative materials which could endure high temperatures. We began by securing research and development grants through Welsh Government and capital grants for state of the art equipment to aid the manufacturing process. After we secured the contract too, we had support from our bank and UK Export finance to help cover the bonds on the project.
“It’s been a real team effort from Wales, with all of our 60 staff working to help protect the area after one of the world’s largest and most infamous disasters.”