Solar park makes irradiated areas usable

EJOT supplies fastening solutions to Chernobyl

Even 35 years after the Chernobyl disaster, the areas within the 10 km zone around the damaged reactor block 4 are not usable for humans. That doesn’t have to be the case, decided the Ukrainian company RODINA and the Hamburg-based ENERPARC AG, who joined forces and set up a solar park in the irradiated area. Last but not least, a symbolic sign: The future is also coming to Chernobyl.

On 26 April 1986, an explosion destroyed reactor 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, causing one of the greatest nuclear disasters of humankind. Numerous people lost their lives as a result of the direct and indirect consequences of the disaster. An area of around 6,400 km² around the damaged power plant had to be abandoned due to the high radiation exposure. It was presumed not to be usable for humans for hundreds, if not thousands of years

Regaining usefulness
“Let’s Green It” – this is the motto of the German-Ukrainian consortium RODINA - ENERPARC AG. The goal: areas contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster should be made usable again and brought back to life. After more than four years of planning, the time had finally come. In October 2017, construction work began on a 1 MWp open space solar system on an area of 1.6 ha directly next to the sarcophagus of the destroyed reactor. The system with 3,762 solar modules, which was completed in June 2018, now delivers around 1,024 MWh of electricity annually – enough for 250 four-person households. The energy generated in Chernobyl is currently being used for the surrounding buildings, which are primarily devoted to the disposal and dismantling of the power plant – set for almost 50 years, because that is how long the lease for the area on which the open-space system stands still runs.

German quality screws for Chernobyl
The construction of the photovoltaic system in the irradiated area brought with it some special features that had to be taken into account in the planning and construction. For example, digging or dredging was not allowed on the site so as not to release radiation from the ground. All the lines required for the system had to be routed above ground in specially constructed cement blocks. The know-how for the construction of the solar system came from the Hamburg company ENERPARC, which also relied on Made in Germany quality when connecting the components of the assembly substructure. A total of almost 6,000 self-drilling screws and almost 12,000 thread-forming screws from EJOT were used. These EJOT screws are made of high quality A2 stainless steel. They are particularly corrosion-resistant and designed for a reliable and long-lasting connection.

The screws JZ3-6.3x19 E16 are used to connect the support profiles. They form a thread in the pre-drilled or pre-punched core hole and thus create a tight and secure connection. They are suitable for fastening steel and/or aluminium components. The JZ3 installed in the Chernobyl solar park recently received an even more powerful successor in the form of the JZ5. The JZ5 is the strongest self-tapping screw of EJOT to date and scores particularly well when used in high-strength materials.

The JT3-6-5.5x25 E16 self-drilling screws are made of stainless steel with a hardened steel drill bit and are used to attach the support profiles to the substructure. They show their strengths particularly when they are used quickly and flexibly, as there is no need for pre-drilling. They are also suitable for use in steel and aluminium and with a combination of these two materials up to a total thickness of the connection of 6 mm.
EJOT self-drilling screws and self-tapping screws were used in Chernobyl

The JT3 self-drilling screw (left) is particularly characterized by its fast and flexible use, as there is no need to pre-drill. The JZ5 (right) is the successor to the JZ3 self-tapping screw installed in the Chernobyl solar park and is ideally suited for fixing profile sheets and sandwich elements onto steel substructures.

ENERPARC and EJOT have been working together as partners for many years. Consistently good quality, delivery reliability, dependability with competitive conditions, good service and solutionoriented advice – at ENERPARC they know that they have a solid partner at their side in the German family business EJOT.

Reliable products for the highest safety requirements
​​​​​​​The Chernobyl reactor is not unknown to the experts at EJOT. After a construction period of almost 10 years, in July 2019 the new protective cover “New Safe Confinement”, also known colloquially as the “Arch of Chernobyl”, was put into operation over the aging old sarcophagus of the damaged Block 4. Almost three million EJOT self-drilling screws JT3 were used and reliably hold various trapezoidal and intermediate profiles as well as elements of the inner and outer cladding in place. In order to ensure the durability of the new protective cover and thus also its screw connections, special reports were commissioned to examine the influence of radioactive radiation on stainless steels. “We are aware of the great responsibility that we have taken on by participating in this project. At the same time, however, we are also very proud that we were able to make a contribution to this building project, which is extremely important for all of us, with our high-quality and durable products,” explains EJOT Construction Fasteners Managing Director Dr. Jens Oliver Weber.

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