Chernobyl safe confinement named one of the most influential projects of the past 50 Years

The international, 22-year effort to cover and seal off the damaged Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine has been recognised as one of the 50 most influential projects of the past 50 years by the Project Management Institute, the global body for project management standards, certifications, and education.

“This recognition reflects the incredible progress we have made in the project management profession and demonstrates how the fabric of our world has been shaped, and continues to be shaped, by the hard work of bringing ideas to life,” said Sunil Prashara, president and CEO of Project Management Institute.

Balthasar Lindauer, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) director of Nuclear Safety, added: “We are honoured to receive this prestigious award. It is recognition of what the community of donors together with Ukraine was able to achieve in this unique display of international solidarity.”

Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4 was destroyed in a nuclear accident in 1986. A concrete covering, hastily built over the reactor, developed cracks and became unstable, prompting the need for a longer-term solution. That solution took shape during the 1990s and early 2000s.

At a cost of 1.6 billion euros, the giant structure is the most prominent element of the Shelter Implementation Plan for Chernobyl, which involved more than 300 projects and activities. The 2.3 billion-euro programme is financed by the Chernobyl Shelter Fund.

The EBRD manages the fund and is its largest contributor, with the provision of 715 million euros of its own resources to support Chernobyl projects including the new safe confinement.