The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has conditionally earmarked a $215 million international loan for completing two new nuclear reactors in Ukraine, in exchange for shutting down Chernobyl. The money will help finance completion of the two reactors at Khmelnitsky and Rovno. Funds will be released so long as Kiev ensures that the plants will be safe, secures additional funding from other sources and appoints an effective independent regulator for the electricity sector.
The decision has been attacked by the Council of Europe, the Strasbourg-based political body that is independent of the EU. Its parliamentary assembly voted for a resolution saying that the money should be spent instead on reducing the country‚s energy waste and diversifying its power generation sources.
The assembly recognised that a decision to pursue the project was “for Ukraine alone,” but a statement said that it “harboured serious doubts as to its financing by the international community, saying it would increase Ukraine’s reliance on nuclear energy as well as its external debt.” Assembly members also said that they hoped projects to upgrade the safety and efficiency of the country’s remaining nuclear and thermal plants would be considered by the Kiev government.