In 2019 we carried out an exceptional project from all points of view, in which we equipped and fitted all the technical buildings in the Chernobyl Reactor 4 area with fireproof metal swing gates, including the sarcophagus installed a few years ago on top of the old one, erected immediately after the 1986 explosion.
The extraordinary nature of the project was due to the fact that absolutely all its components – technical, economic, administrative, logistical, and, last but not least, human – had to be integrated with the constraints of managing a nuclear site, of working on a nuclear power plant of the size, characteristics, and history of Chernobyl.
Approach & Results
From a technical perspective – we had to prepare and support an enormous and very detailed technical dossier, including a wide range of documentation, certifications, approvals, and special authorizations.
In terms of logistics, the challenge was generated both by the situation on the field – there is a restricted area with a radius of 40 km around the Reactor that is not accessible to anyone – and by dealing with the state authorities, for contracting in a special regime, and customs, for the transit through the border points of machinery, tools, and equipment necessary for such a site. All the tools, devices, and equipment used on the project, including the mandatory car with which we traveled around the site, were abandoned at the site, their exposure to radiation making it impossible to bring them home for further use.
Moreover, the preparation and organization of the site, the phasing of the activities and the assembly process were further complicated by the restrictions on radiation exposure; the turnover of technicians was done in strict compliance with the maximum permissible radiation exposure time. Throughout the work, the technicians were closely monitored for radiation exposure levels with dual electronic and analog systems.
EMI had to anticipate all possible problems with the utmost care, from the contracting, documentation, and preparation of the technical dossier to compliance with product safety conditions, project completion, and maintenance work.
The contract, which lasted over a year, was demanding and stringent in every respect. The gates installed are ultra-fireproof, withstanding temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius inside and up to 70 degrees outside for up to 2 hours.
For EMI, the successful Chernobyl project remains an unprecedented professional experience and a perfect illustration of our brand aspiration toward soulful performance on the scale of excellence. The work carried out by our specialists was not only aimed at finding solutions to improve technical protection facilities in an area that will no longer be considered safe for the next 20,000 years, but also to help, even indirectly, the people who have to live with Chernobyl legacy in rebuilding their lives.