EBRD mulls further €350m to safeguard Chernobyl
The directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) are recommending a €350m (£274m) increase in the bank's contributions to complete the safe confinement of the Chernobyl reactor.
EBRD’s governors will take the final decision on providing more funds for the New Safe Confinement on the site of the 1986 nuclear accident. The EBRD board of governors is the bank’s highest decision-making body representing the 66 shareholders. A two thirds majority in shares and governors is required for the approval of the additional and decision is expected within the next 30 days.
Construction of the confinement structure reached a major milestone last week. But the project in Chernobyl has a funding shortfall of €615m. To fill this gap the proposal provides for an additional contribution of €350m by the EBRD in anticipation of a €165m contribution by the G7/European Commission and the balance of €100m by non-G7 donors. The G7 leads the effort to mobilise the additional funds and will organise a pledging event in the spring of 2015. Should pledging efforts fall short of the amount allocated to non-G7 donors, the EBRD would step in.
The New Safe Confinement will make the old Chernobyl shelter and remnants of the damaged reactor safe and environmentally secure. Equipped with automated cranes it will create the conditions for the dismantling of the hastily built old structure and for nuclear waste management operations for the duration of its design life of 100 years.
Completion of the project is scheduled for end-2017. The total cost of the Shelter Implementation Plan, of which the New Safe Confinement is the most prominent element, is estimated in the range of €2.15bn. Of this, the New Safe Confinement will cost about €1.5bn.
EBRD president Sir Suma Chakrabarti said: “With our proposal the EBRD is showing real leadership to bring this uniquely important project to a successful conclusion. We are encouraged that the international community has also announced its readiness to step up its efforts and the EBRD will continue to support the undertaking as administrator of the Chernobyl Shelter Fund.”
The Chernobyl Shelter Fund was set up in 1997 with the EBRD as administrator and to date has received contributions from 43 donor governments. The EBRD has also provided €325m from its own resources in support of the work in Chernobyl to date.
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This article was published on 3 Nov 2014 (last updated on 3 Nov 2014).