Sole UK firm to bid for Siberian nuclear site 'confinement shelter' ousted in favour of Italian or Chinese companies

Cleveland Bridge is out of the race for a £40m deal to build a giant cover at the site of the world's worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl.

The firm, which is due to carry out the steelwork contract for Mace on the Shard of Glass building in London, was the only UK company chasing the deal.

Around 20,000 tonnes of steel will be used in the project which will see a so-called 'confinement shelter' built at the former power station in Ukraine. The shelter will be over 100m high and more than 150m long

A spokesman for the Darlington firm said: “You always want to win jobs you go for but trying to find a lot of people to work in Ukraine in the middle of winter could have been hard.”

Instead, Italian steel contractor Cimolai and an unnamed Chinese contractor are left battling it out.

The overall work carries a £300m price tag and is being carried out for state-owned client ChNPP by a team of French contracting giants, Bouygues and Vinci.

Steel is being used because a concrete case put up in the aftermath of the 1986 disaster is beginning to leak and crumble.