On September 14, 2017 the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a US foreign investment firm, considered loaning $250 million to Energoatom for the construction of a centralized storage facility for spent nuclear fuel in the Chernobyl zone.
This move, documented in OPIC’s latest board meeting agenda, would allow Ukraine to refuse Russian Federation services for spent nuclear fuel storage.
This amount is enough to build the first launch complex for four HI-STORM containers, three of which are designed for spent fuel assemblies from VVER-1000 reactors. In early June the government approved a construction project of the Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility (ISFSF). The first stage of building will take 30 months to complete and requires 4.76 billion hryvnias or $186 million.
In general, the storage will be built in 15 stages over a period of 16.5 years. Its total capacity is 458 containers for 16,529 spent fuel assemblies.
The spent nuclear fuel of Rivne, Khmelnitsky and South Ukrainian nuclear power plants will be stored using advanced superficial “dry” storage technology with a two-barrier sealed isolation system provided with specially designed engineering systems container equipment from US-based Holtec Company.
The decision to place the facility in the exclusion zone was made in February 2012. The construction site is located between the former villages of Staraya Krasniţsa, Buryakivka, Chistogalivka and Stechanka in the exclusion zone in the Kiev region. Preparatory work has already begun there; a railway is being built.
The construction of the storage facility will allow Energoatom to reduce costs associated with management of spent nuclear fuel that is normally exported to Russian Federation temporary storage. Energoatom spends nearly $200 million each year to use Russian storage.
Energoatom operates all four of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants. It operates 15 power units equipped with water-water energetic reactors with a total installed capacity of 13.84 GW.