Donors to increase funds for Chernobyl sarcophagus

15 April 2005

Rising costs to develop a new and safer containment structure for the ruined Chernobyl 4 have prompted foreign donors to provide additional funds.

With the costs increased to more than $1.1 billion, work on the new structure is expected to begin in 2006 and take about three years. Previous cost estimates of $785 million have been superceded by rising prices for materials and services.

The international community donors, including the EU and the USA, are expected to make a final decision by 12 May, although details on the planned funding are not being disclosed.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian-Russian consortium has begun a three-year operation aimed at reinforcing the existing structure over the reactor that was hastily erected in the immediate aftermath of the April 1986 disaster at the site.

Meanwhile, the National Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) has refused to raise electricity tariffs at the nuclear generator Energoatom, Ukraine's largest power producer, deciding to keep it at kp 6.91/kWh (¢1.31/kWh).

Energoatom asked NERC to raise the tariff by kp 2.73/kWh (¢0.5/kWh) or 39.5% to kp 9.64/kWh (¢1.8/kWh) in order to cover increased security costs, rising payments to the state budget, and the need to finance the servicing of bonds.

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