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Mammoet seals off Chernobyl reactor with huge dome

Mammoet has installed Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant’s New Safe Confinement, an arch-shaped structure designed to contain radiation for the next 100 years

With an approximate weight of 33,000 tonnes, Chernobyl’s New Safe Confinement is the largest land-based moveable structure in the world.
With an approximate weight of 33,000 tonnes, Chernobyl’s New Safe Confinement is the largest land-based moveable structure in the world.

Mammoet has completed the installation of the world’s largest land-based moveable structure at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine.

The structure, known as the New Safe Confinement, is an arch-shaped construction designed to contain radiation emitted by the plant’s destroyed nuclear reactor for the next 100 years.

Chernobyl’s New Safe Confinement is 165m long, 260m wide, 110m tall, and weighs in at almost 33,000 tonnes.

Mammoet used 166 remote-controlled skid shoes, with an average capacity of 635 tonnes each, to skid the structure into place.

The skid shoes were completely synchronised on both sides of the structure to ensure a smooth and even operation, according to Mammoet. The tracks of the system were installed at a 33° angle to optimise the load transfer onto the foundations.

Mammoet also conducted the jack-up and skidding operations necessary for the structure’s construction. The arch was built in two parts at a decontaminated area a safe distance from the reactor. Both halves were elevated during three jack-up operations, allowing crews to work at lower heights, increasing cost effectiveness, and improving operational safety.

Once construction of the first half was complete, it was skidded into a special parking area, making space for the construction of the arch’s second half. Upon completion of the final component, both parts were connected using the skidding system.

Mammoet was contracted to install Chernobyl’s New Safe Confinement by Novarka, a joint venture between Vinci Construction Grand Projets and Bouygues Travaux Publics that was enlisted to build the structure.

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Construction Week - Issue 754
Nov 23, 2019