Brussels, 12 May 2005
Chernobyl Shelter Fund: Commission announces
additional €49 million
At a pledging meeting today in London the European Commission will
announce an additional €49 million to the international Chernobyl Shelter
Fund (CSF). The conference is organised by the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and attended by representatives of
the European Commission, all G8 countries and Ukraine. Russia will
contribute to the fund for the first time. This additional contribution comes
on top of more than €600 million already pledged to the fund by 28 donor
governments in 1997 and 2000. With today’s pledge, the Commission has
now committed a total of €239.5 million for the Fund since 1997, making it the
main donor.
The Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy,
Benita Ferrero-Waldner said “Nuclear safety is a priority for the European Union and
the Commission is committed to provide generous assistance to the region affected
by the Chernobyl catastrophe. Today’s additional pledge for the Shelter Fund
underlines the EU’s determination to support Ukraine’s reform process.”
The Chernobyl Shelter Fund is managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development and was established in 1997 to fund the Shelter Implementation
Plan (SIP). The European Union, leading player in addressing the problems caused
by the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986, has been the largest
contributor to the fund.
The main objective of the SIP, which was developed collaboratively by the EU, the
United States and the Ukraine, is to convert Chernobyl’s reactor 4, destroyed by the
accident, into an environmentally-safe site. The project is estimated to cost $1,091
million and will be complete by 2008-2009.
The strong commitment of the European Commission to the problem was
demonstrated through its pledge of €190.4 million for 1997 and 2000. Now the
Commission is earmarking an additional pledge of €49.1 million to allow the project
to be completed on time.
In addition to the Shelter Fund, from 1998 to 2004, the European Commission has
committed €117 million to Ukraine through its Tacis nuclear safety programme. This
programme aims at increasing nuclear safety of Nuclear Power Plants and at
improving the management of nuclear wastes, notably in Chernobyl. This support to
Ukraine will be continued in 2005 and 2006.
The Commission funds allocated to Chernobyl site have been used to assist
Ukrainian authorities for the decommissioning of units 1-3 by the construction of the
facilities for solid waste retrieval. The programme also supports the Ukrainian
nuclear safety regulatory authority. The European Commission contributed also to
the Nuclear Safety Account, managed by EBRD, in charge of the construction of the
plants dealing with spent fuel and Liquid radioactive waste.
In the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy, the Action Plan agreed with
the Ukraine in 2004 includes, as an important priority, the objective of closing the
Chernobyl nuclear power plant, in compliance with the internationally accepted
nuclear safety standards.