A pre-tender conference of potential bidders for a contract to build a liquid nuclear waste processing plant is under way at Chernobyl. The EBRD-financed plant will process 2500 m3 of waste per year, transforming it into blocks that will be buried inside special metal containers in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Some 13 000 m3 of waste has been stockpiled during the lifetime of the power station. Five international consortia are expected to compete in the tender.

A contractor will be chosen in spring 1999 on the basis of technical proposals, after which more detailed design work and the construction itself will go ahead. The processing plant is set to be completed in August 2001. The tender winner would be expected to involve local construction and transport companies in the project.