Ukrainian nuclear utility Energoatom said on 25 April it had received special permit from the State Inspectorate for Nuclear Regulation to put into operation the Centralised Spent Fuel Storage Facility (CSFSF). Energoatom noted that this special permit had been expected on 9 March, but it was postponed due to Russian invasion and the presence of the Russian troops in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, where the facility is located.
"Currently, the CSF is fully operational. Fortunately, it has not been affected by the occupiers. All equipment, computers and special equipment are working normally," the company said, noting that the design life is at least 100 years. The CSFSF is an autonomous nuclear installation designed for long-term storage of used fuel from the South Ukrainian, Khmelnitsky and Rovno NPPs, which until 2021 was exported for storage and processing to Russia.
Construction began in 2017 under a contract signed with the US Holtec International and in December 2020, the construction of the first launch complex was completed. In July 2021, at the request of Energoatom, the construction of the 43-kilometre railway line Vilcha-Yaniv was completed, which connected the facility to the railway network. In January 2022, Energoatom completed almost two months of autonomous tests of facility systems in cold mode, followed by comprehensive cold tests - without fuel.