The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has announced that it will provide EUR 190 million for the new sarcophagus and nuclear waste storage facility at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Ukraine. The funding was provisioned by a 4 December agreement between Ukrainian government, state enterprise Chernobyl NPP and the EBRD.
This EUR 190 million will become the last batch out of EUR 740 million, necessary for concluding the New Safe Confinement project. The rest EUR 550 million were collected as the result of the International Donors' Conference of April 19, 2011, in Kyiv.
"This agreement was signed as a result of the joint efforts of the Ukrainian government, the EBRD and the international community directed at transforming the Shelter into an ecologically safe system. Its implementation will also help to solve the economic and social issues related to the decommissioning of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant", commented Ukraine's First Vice Prime Minister Valeriy Khoroshkovskyi, who signed the agreement.
The New Safe Confinement structure will have a span of 257 meters, a length of 164 meters, a height of 110 meters and a weight of 29,000 tonnes, reads EBRD website. The new casket will be constructed in the nearby area and later moved onto the hazardous part of the plant, hermetically covering it as a lid. It is expected to lock the damaged radioactive reactor for the next 100 years. Extraction of radioactive materials from under the lid will begin in around 30 years.
The New Safe Confinement contract is funded by over 40 donor nations, contributing to the EBRD Chernobyl Shelter Fund. The Fund is expected to disburse around EUR 1.54 billion in support of the Shelter Implementation Plan. Since 2009 the EBRD has been the largest contributor to the Chernobyl funds, having provided EUR 325 million. The construction of the Confinement is expected to end in 2015.