Interim Spent Nuclear Fuel Dry Storage Facility (ISF-2)

The Interim Spent Nuclear Fuel Dry Storage Facility (ISF-2) – is the facility designed for acceptance, preparation for storage and storage of Spent Fuel Assemblies (SFA) and Additional Absorbers (AA), currently stored at Chornobyl NPP.

The construction began in 2001 and is funded from the Nuclear Safety Account of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

ISF-2 consists of 2 parts:
1. Spent Fuel Processing Facility (SFPF). Its function is preparation for storage and packing of about 21 thousand spent fuel assemblies, transported from from “wet” type ISF-1. The facility is designed to ensure the minimal annual capacity for processing of 2,500 fuel assemblies or absorbers.

2. Spent Fuel Storage Area. The following operations are carried out in this Area:
• transportation of the canisters, filled with spent nuclear fuel from the Spent Fuel Processing Facility to the Storage Area, using the canisters handling and transportation system;
• loading of canisters into horizontal concrete storage modules with the 100-year design life-time
• storage of canisters with nuclear fuel within 100 years.

Storage of spent nuclear fuel will be carried out using the dry modular storage technology.

The general principle of dry model storage is that fuel is stored in sealed baskets filled with inert gas. The baskets themselves are placed in concrete modules. The module design serves as radiation protection, and also prevents the damage of the metal basket.

Dry technology has the following advantages:
1. Possibility to implement construction of the facility in a staged manner and lower initial investment in the construction.
2. Passive system (due to natural air exchange) for removal of residual heat from spent fuel assemblies.
3. Generation of insignificant amount of radioactive waste during operation of the storage facility and almost complete absence of liquid radioactive waste.
4. Operating costs are significantly lower in comparison with the wet storage.

The accepted technology for ISF-2 involves the use of a Double-Walled Canister (DWC). Its design provides long-term storage of fuel due to isolation from the environment. Therefore, there will be no radiation effect on the environment under normal storage in concrete modules. One DWC contains 93 spent fuel assemblies.

On December 14, 2020, active phase of hot testing was completed; 186 spent fuel assemblies were moved to ISF-2.

Read more: ChNPP completes transfer of spent nuclear fuel within “hot tests” at ISF-2

On April 26, 2021, ChNPP obtained Licence for ISF-2 Operation which enabled to start transportation of the fuel in operation mode.

On May 21, the SSE ChNPP obtained an individual permit for Removal of Standard Spent Nuclear Fuel from ISF-1.

On 08 June, spent fuel transportation in operation mode started. As of January 2022: 1,698 spent fuel assemblies have been moved to ISF-2 for long-term storage.

Project No

Project title


Cost (under the Contract)

Time frame


Modernization of dosimetric control system in the Exclusion Zone and environmental (radiation) monitoring at Vektor Complex and Buriakivka RAW Disposal Facility.

Assystem Engineering and Operation Services SAS

727 400 EUR

Beginning: 08.01.2021
Completion: 18.07.2022


Support to the Ukrainian institutions in addressing national decommissioning, radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel management, including radio-ecological monitoring


392 767,50 EUR

Beginning: 01.01.2020
Completion: 31.12.2023


Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility (ISF-2)

Holtec International, USA

166 185 472 EUR

362 058 522 USD

Beginning: 1996-11-12
Completion: 2021-12-31


Equipment dismantling



Beginning: 2012
Completion: -

The project is funded by the European Union.

Project objective: modernization of dosimetric control system in the Exclusion Zone and environmental (radiation) monitoring at Vektor Complex and Buriakivka RAW Disposal Facility.

Project tasks:

  • Development of design and purchase documentation for modernization of the environmental monitoring systems at Vektor and Buriakivka as well as dosimetric control systems at ChNPP and within the Exclusion Zone in general (including the contamination which can be spread by vehicles).
  • Analysis of available systems and their compliance with the safety requirements of Ukraine and best international practices.
  • Development of actions for improvement of the systems.
  • Development of technical specifications on whose basis the primary actions of the system improvement will be taken (these actions include shipment, installation, testing and commissioning).

In terms of upgrading the ChNPP radiation and dosimetric control, the existing system was analysed, the improvement actions for it were developed, and general assessment was completed. Due to both the limited financing of the next project phase and large scope of work, the project for ChNPP was split into two LOTs:

LOT-1 — purchase of equipment for refurbishment of the ChNPP Individual Dosimetric Control Laboratory and purchase of individual dosimeters.
LOT-2 — purchase of auxiliary dosimeters to check eye lens and limbs.

The development of the technical specifications and purchase documentation is in progress. The work is carried out in line with the project plan.

The activities are carried out under the IAEA technical cooperation project UKR9040.

The project objective is supporting the Ukrainian institutions in addressing national decommissioning, radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel management, including radio-ecological monitoring.

Project tasks: 

Enhancing the capabilities at the enterprises under authority of State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management in terms of:

  • Arrangement of safe and efficient decommissioning activity.
  • Improvement of radioactive material management.
  • Arrangement of safe and efficient activities on radiation safety .
  • Ecological monitoring of the environment on basis of the best international practices.

Implementation progress: 

  • • Expert Missions were completed on review of SSE ChNPP report on progress of FS&P stage for 2019-2029.
  • • Technical specifications for purchase of the agreed with the IAEA equipment were developed and agreed.
  • • The work is underway to deliver the set of equipment, materials and guidance manual for radiochemical removal and quantitative identification of americium (241Am, 243Am) and plutonium (238Pu, 239Pu, 240Pu, 241Pu, 242Pu), radionuclide spectra in ChNPP radioactively contaminated waters and liquid radioactive waste.
  • • The work is underway to deliver the analyzer of total organic carbon.
  • • SSE ChNPP report on pilot operation of the facility for release of materials from regulatory control was submitted for the IAEA review.

The cooperation and project implementation are continued in accordance with the Work Plan.

The project is funded by the EU in the framework of the Agreement on Funding the Annual Nuclear Safety Action Plan of 2014.

The main objective of the project was to provide recommendations and subsequently to develop technologies for processing the selected streams of the problematic radioactive waste into the forms acceptable for their long-term storage and/or disposal.

Project tasks:
1. Detailed analysis of the problematic RAW streams.
2. Characterization of the selected streams of problematic waste.
3. Feasibility Study of the potential technologies to process the problematic RAW.
4. Description of techniques, technical specifications for equipment and safety case.
5. Support to the End User during review of the elaborated documentation by a regulatory authority.
6. Final Report and dissemination of the project results.

In the part of the project within the responsibility of ChNPP, the results have been obtained as follows:
The filter perlite pulp was determined as a problematic RAW stream for the SSE ChNPP.
The strategy and methods for sampling and characterization of the problematic waste was agreed with and approved by the SNRIU. As per the approved methods the SSE ChNPP took the samples from 40 sampling points and formed 10 combined samples of LRW, they were characterized according their chemical and radionuclide content.
Resulting from the project, ChNPP obtained the Feasibility Study of the potential technologies to process the filter perlite pulp, technical specifications for equipment and safety case for processing the problematic RAW.