New Chernobyl support fund heralds next steps in decommissioning

By Axel  Reiserer

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Читати українською

  • First assembly meeting of International Chernobyl Co-Operation Account
  • New fund to develop comprehensive plan for next steps in decommissioning process
  • EBRD and IAEA heads agree to continue institutions’ cooperation

The international community stands united to support Ukraine in the next steps towards transforming the site of the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

On the occasion of the first assembly meeting of the new International Chernobyl Co-Operation Account (ICCA), the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Odile Renaud-Basso, and the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, agreed the following:

  1. Having reviewed the support that each organisation has provided Ukraine in the past 35 years, and the progress achieved so far, they confirm their continuous support to Ukraine in the coming phase of decommissioning of Chernobyl.
  2. They congratulate Ukraine on reaching two important milestones in the decommissioning process: the completion of the New Safe Confinement and the start of operation of the Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility.
  3. They agree to continue their work, focusing on the next steps required to achieve the next goals.
  4. In this connection, they recognise the need to develop a comprehensive plan for the site to ensure coherence, optimisation and complementarity between the different tasks.
  5. They agree to work together in the framework of the International Chernobyl Cooperation Account in close cooperation with the Ukrainian authorities towards the delivery of safe and cost-effective solutions for the decommissioning of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and in managing the radioactive waste in the exclusion zone.
  6. In doing so, they will draw on the IAEA’s technical mandate, knowledge and experience, and its network of international experts, and the EBRD’s project and fund management experience.

ICCA was established in November 2020 by the EBRD at the request of the government of Ukraine. It was set up as a multilateral fund to support the development of a comprehensive plan for Chernobyl, to consolidate existing planning as well as optimise and integrate all approaches to radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. Commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky signed an order making his country a contributor to the new fund.

Balthasar Lindauer, EBRD Director, Nuclear Safety Department, said: “Despite an unprecedented level of international cooperation in the transformation of Chernobyl over the past decades, the decommissioning of the nuclear power plant and the management of radioactive waste in the exclusion zone remain the most challenging nuclear safety operations in the world. ICCA will aim to support capabilities that address these challenges. The EBRD stands ready to provide its services as a project and fund manager.”

The ICCA assembly meeting happened as Ukraine marked the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident in the early hours of 26 April 1986. Since 1995, the EBRD has been engaged in securing and transforming the site as a fund manager on behalf of the international community and as a donor. Under the Bank’s leadership the Liquid Radioactive Waste Treatment Plant, the New Safe Confinement and the Interim Storage Facility-2 have been built.

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