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Bury firm completes £10m Chernobyl Safe Confinement project in Ukraine

Bury-based MW Hargreaves has completed a £10m, two-year project to provide specialist ductwork for the Chernobyl New Safe Confinement (NSC) in Ukraine.

The company supplied more than 6,000m of specialist ductwork to the site, alongside 41t of supports, all of which were manufactured at the company’s site in Bury, Greater Manchester. In its procurement of 78 fans and a host of HEPA filters, air handling units and dampers, the company also used a number of other British-manufactured products.

MW Hargreaves managing director Andy Sneyd said: “The Chernobyl New Safe Confinement is the highest profile and most important nuclear decommissioning project in the world. We’re proud to play our part in making the reactor site safe for future generations.At the project’s peak, we had ten staff working on the site in Ukraine in constant communication with the MW Hargreaves team in Bury to ensure the project was delivered both safely and to the highest standard.”

The NSC, which encloses the radioactive remains of the 1986 nuclear disaster, is 108m high at its peak, with a span of 257m – making it large enough to house the Statue of Liberty and Rome’s Colosseum. The 36,000t NSC was assembled 327 meters away from reactor four and moved into place over a period of 15 days in late 2016, at a speed of less than 1cm per hour – making it the largest man-made object ever to be moved on land.

MW Hargreaves working closely with Novarka, a joint venture between Vinci Construction Grands Projets and Bouygues Travaux Publics to deliver the project in 24 months.

All ductwork manufactured and supplied by MW Hargreaves had to take into account the seismic activity at the site, with the company providing seismically qualified support and calculations for all the ductwork systems. MW Hargreaves also partnered with key suppliers in the UK and Europe to ensure compliance with local regulation on design codes, materials standards and business practices.