German company delivers stainless steel envelope
What happened on the 26th of April 1986? Anyone old enough will immediately think of the day when the reactor exploded in Chernobyl, Ukraine, spreading radioactive fallout across the entire northern hemisphere. The nuclear catastrophe contaminated a huge area of Ukraine around the nuclear power station with radiation, making it uninhabitable. Chernobyl was the first event ever to be classified as a “catastrophic accident” on the seven-level international evaluation scale for nuclear and radiological events. The 26th of April 2015 is the 29th anniversary of the disaster.
The project of the century
Three years ago, on the 26th of April 2012, construction began on a new protective cover. The new high-tech jacket consists of an inner and outer layer and is designed to last for one hundred years. The 29,000-tonne steel shelter is intended to extend in an arc over the destroyed reactor block and the old concrete sarcophagus. At 257 metres wide, 150 metres long and 109 metres high, it will be the world’s largest movable hall. Completion of the shelter is planned for 2017. This will be followed by hermetic sealing and the commissioning of the large pumps, which will generate constant overpressure between the inner and outer layers. This overpressure is intended to prevent contaminated particles from escaping into the construction and the surroundings. Only then can the demolition work be expected to begin.
Building envelope comes from Koblenz
Kalzip is the only German company directly involved in the Chernobyl project. The Koblenz-based international manufacturer of metal building envelope was chosen to build the 86,000m2 metal inner and outer skin from stainless steel. The proven Kalzip standing seam roof cladding is being used for the outer skin. For the inner skin, a panel system also made from stainless steel is used. The profiles and panels are manufactured and processed directly on site, in mobile production units.
The complexity of the project has led to repeated delays in recent years. The planned completion date has been pushed back from late 2015 to probably 2017. The projected costs are currently more than EUR 1.5 billion and are expected to rise further. The threat of a halt in production in late 2014 was averted thanks to intermediate financing from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The project is being funded by various donor countries, with the majority of the Chernobyl Shelter Fund (CSF) being borne by the G7 states and the EU. The aim of the internationally-funded project is to put the Chernobyl site in a safe environmental state.
Kalzip, the world’s leading aluminium standing seam system for roof and building cladding, was launched on the market in 1968. Since then, more than 100 million square metres of Kalzip profile panels have been laid worldwide. Kalzip is an independent business unit within Tata Steel Europe and is part of the Building Envelope sector. The construction systems produced are marketed under the worldwide registered trademark Kalzip. With production fleet of mobile production units as well as more than 25 sales/consulting and representative offices, Kalzip is represented in every part of the world. Tata Steel Europe is Europe’s second largest steel manufacturer and a company within the worldwide Tata Group.
A Tata Steel Europe Ltd. company
D - 56070 Koblenz
Images: Kalzip GmbH