The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP) is sponsoring a study funded by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to utilize Holtec’s Forced Helium Dehydration (FHD) technology to dry the RBMK spent fuel from the three idled (undamaged) Chernobyl reactors. Failure to agree on the drying criteria for the RBMK fuel has impeded the ISF-2 dry storage project in Ukraine, placing the project’s success in jeopardy. This delay has now placed the dry storage project in the critical path to the decommissioning of the three reactors. Mr. Paul Thomson is the Project Manager for the ISF-2 Project Management Unit and Mr. James Viebrock is the Project Manager for Holtec.

In this first phase of the contract, Holtec will develop a customized conceptual design of the FHD system for the specific application at Chernobyl and provide scientific proof for its regulatory acceptance. Prototypical testing will be carried out if required by ChNPP. “We are pleased to have been summoned to provide a solution to this problem that has delayed Chernobyl’s dry storage program for a long time. We are confident that our FHD technology will meet the challenge of drying the ChNPP fuel,” says Holtec’s VP of Nuclear Projects, Dr. William Woodward.