The Ukranian government has chosen a spot for a central nuclear fuel storage facility, in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, following a February 2012 law, according to a report from state news agency Interfax.
The 11.5 hectare (28 acre) facility is now due to be completed in late 2017 on a 45 hectare (100 acre) plot to the southwest of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
In 2005 Holtec International won a EUR 128 million international tender to design, licence, build and commission the first stage of a storage facility from Ukrainan utility Energoatom.
The first stage of the complex was to take 36 months for UAH 1.23 billion (EUR 75 million in 2009 prices), and the whole construction was estimated at UAH 3.68 billion, according to a Ukraine cabinet resolution.
A feasibility study prepared by Energoproekt (Kiev) predicts the facility's capacity to be 16,530 fuel assemblies, 12,010 from VVER-1000 reactors and 4520 from VVER-440 reactors. The capacity of the first stage is 3,620 assemblies, including 2,510 from VVER-1000 reactors.
Spent fuel originating from South Ukraine, Rivne and Khmelnitsky nuclear power plants would be stored there, although it is first processed at Russia's Krasnoyarsk and Mayak fuel cycle facilities. Spent nuclear fuel from Zaporizhia NPP is not taken to Russia, but stored at a dry storage facility for waste nuclear fuel located near the plant that was commissioned in 2001, according to the Interfax report.
Picture: Map of Chernobyl exclusion zone; Chernobyl NPP is indicated by black and yellow circle at right.