EBRD to close Chernobyl New Safe Confinement funding gap

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EBRD to close Chernobyl New Safe Confinement funding gap

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has plans to close “a substantial funding gap” of €100 million ($107.3 million) for the Chernobyl New Safe Confinement project.

The total cost of the Shelter Implementation Plan is estimated at €2.15 billion (US$2.31 billion), with the New Safe Confinement alone costing €1.5 billion (US$1.61 billion).

According to the EBRD, at present there remains a substantial funding gap which the international community, whose contributions the EBRD is administering as manager of the Chernobyl decommissioning funds, is aiming to close. The EBRD shareholders have committed €350 million from the Bank’s reserves in anticipation of a €165 million contribution from the G7/European Commission. The €100 million balance to close the financial gap is expected to be covered by non-G7/EC donors.

The construction of the New Safe Confinement at Chernobyl is entering its final stage. The giant structure has been erected over the past four years in a secure area near the damaged reactor in two pieces which are about to be joined together.

The purpose of the New Safe Confinement, which will have a height of 110 metres, length of 165 metres and an arch span of 257 metres, is to protect the environment from radiation releases and provide the infrastructure to support the deconstruction of the shelter and nuclear waste management operations. The new structure has a lifespan of at least 100 years and will provide a timeframe within which to develop and implement mitigation strategies for dealing with the long-term legacy of the Chernobyl accident.

The New Safe Confinement is the central element of the Shelter Implementation Plan which sets out a roadmap for how to transform Chernobyl into a safe and secure state. Under the programme the shelter was stabilised, the site was cleared for construction of the New Safe Confinement and facilities were created to guarantee highest health and safety standards for the protection of the workforce on site.

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