Pörner subsidiary Gazintek supports engineering of the confinement shelter in Chernobyl

24.03.2016

Gazintek, the Ukraine subsidiary of the Austrian based Pörner Group, takes part in a project that is “unprecedented in the history of engineering”: the design and construction of a confinement shelter in the form of an arch above...

Gazintek, the Ukraine subsidiary of the Austrian based Pörner Group, takes part in a project that is “unprecedented in the history of engineering”: the design and construction of a confinement shelter in the form of an arch above parts of the Chernobyl power plant.

Standing on two concrete beams, the arch will be assembled to the west of the damaged reactor and slid into position over the existing Object Shelter, built in 1986 just after the accident.

The purpose of the new arch, designed and built by NOVARKA, is to:

  • contain radioactive materials
  • protect public and workers at the site
  • protect the existing Object Shelter against weather damage.

NOVARKA is a 50/50 joint venture formed by the French construction companies VINCI CONSTRUCTION and BOUYGUES TRAVAUX PUBLICS in 2007 when the contract for this project was awarded. The consortium is working with local sub-contractors and others from across the world.

The Gazintek impact

Gazintek, as local supplier, has been assisting the gigantic project since 2011 with the detailed design for supporting systems of the ventilation ducts, cable trays, some lifting systems and platforms. On basis of a 3D model issued by the client, Gazintek located the supporting systems. Using Caesar software Gazintek calculated the stress in the ducts, the loads on the supports (operating loads, fire, earthquake) and defined the type of supports needed, using SCAD software. Finally Gazintek designed the supports finite elements and issued the 2D KM drawings of each supporting system. These operations required several iterations in order to optimize the design. In addition, Gazintek checked the behavior of a shelter equipped with electrical panels under seismic condition.

During their work Gazintek engineers have to deal with several challenges of this unique project, like:

  • the size of the technical buildings (several kilometres of pipes)
  • the difficulties, as the installation was very congested and
  • the complexity of some supporting systems

According to NOVARKA the arch-shaped confinement amounts to approx. 1.5 billion Euros and is made up of a 25,000 t metal structure. With its 108 m height, 162 m length and 257 m span, it is large enough to enclose the Stade de France, the Statue of Liberty, or the footprint of the Eiffel Tower. It is as tall as a 30-storey building. The work on the confinement is expected to be completed in late 2017.

Never before has such a huge structure been assembled under comparable circumstances and in the vicinity of a heavily contaminated site. Gazintek is proud to support this project being essentially important not only for the country’s welfare but also for the whole continent.

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