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International community pledges £486m for Chernobyl clean up

International community pledges extra funds for New Safe Confinement and Spent Fuel Storage Facility but the total cost will be €1.54bn (£1.35bn).

The international community is contributing an additional £486M to help to transform the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant into an environmentally safe site and provide a long-term solution for reactor 4 which was destroyed in the 1986 accident at Chernobyl.

The funds will go towards the construction of a 257m wide and 105m high steel arch over the damaged reactor four and a facility to safely and securely store the spent nuclear fuel from reactors one to three.

Major donors and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which has pledged a further £106M, will work together to close the remaining financial gap. The EBRD is managing the international donor funds for Chernobyl.

“This is an encouraging result and we strongly welcome the donors’ strong commitment to work together with Ukraine to implement lasting solutions in Chernobyl,” said EBRD president Thomas Mirow.

The additional financial means will add to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund and the Nuclear Safety Account, the two EBRD-managed funds through which the Shelter Implementation Plan for reactor 4 and the Spent Fuel Storage Facility for reactors 1-3 are funded.

The Shelter Implementation Plan includes the construction of a new shelter for reactor 4. The start of construction of this so-called New Safe Confinement is imminent and first preparatory works have begun. The total cost for the Shelter Implementation Plan will be £1.35bn.

The New Safe Confinement is the biggest project under this complex workplan and will cost about two thirds of the total amount.

It will be assembled on site and the current schedule foresees that this will be completed in summer 2015. Subsequently, the new structure will be slid over the shelter built after the 1986 accident.

The Spent Fuel Storage Facility will provide dry storage for the more than 20,000 spent fuel assemblies from operations in reactors 1-3 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The project design has received regulator approval by the Ukrainian authorities and work on the site has begun.

The completion of the facility is expected 2014/15.

 

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