Bank donates money for Chernobyl Projects

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has signed grant agreements worth over 360 million Euros funding two major projects at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP).

The first agreement covers the design and construction of a new enclosure to surround reactor 4 and a “shelter”, quickly assembled after the 1986 accident, at the site of the power plan, says the EBRD.

Twenty-one years ago, in April 1986, reactor number 4 at Chernobyl exploded, sending radiation across a large region of what is now the Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. According to most reports, 40 radionucleotides were released into the environment.

The second agreement will allow ChNPP to sign a contract for the completion of an interim storage for spent fuel from units 1, 2 and 3 at Chernobyl.

Plans for the construction are said to be 190 metres wide and 200 metres long, with a completion date of 2015. The steel structure will weigh 18,000 tons and will have a half-cylinder shape.

The construction will be undertaken by the Shelter Implementation Plan, which is financed by the Chernobyl Shelter Fund. The EBRD is managing this fund to which a host of countries including the United Kingdom, United States, Belgium, Canada, and the bulk of countries from the European Community have made donations.

Once finished, the New Safe Confinement will contain the radioactive inventory of the “shelter”, prevent the intrusion of water and snow and provide equipment for the eventual deconstruction of the destroyed reactor and the “shelter”, the EBRD says.

Since 1997, at the request of the G7 and the European Union, the EBRD has been managing international assistance programmes in Chernobyl, delivered through the Chernobyl Shelter Fund and the Nuclear Safety Account respectively, to mitigate the consequences of the 1986 accident.

Both programmes have been developed and carried out in close cooperation with the authorities of Ukraine.

Dana Gornitzki

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