The construction of a new cover for the damaged nuclear reactor in Chernobyl will require $125 million in 2011 but the state budget has allocated only half of the sum, a senior Ukrainian government official said on Wednesday.
As Japan is scrambling to prevent a meltdown in its nuclear power plant damaged by the quake of Friday, the project to make Chernobyl an environmentally safe site acquires increasing importance. International organizations have contributed to the project but the funding is still insufficient.
“Regular underfunding of the project does not allow us to finish decommissioning the facilities and complicates international efforts,” said Volodymyr Holosha, the Ukrainian Emergency Situations Ministry official in charge of the project.
The New Safe Confinement is required for the fourth Chernobyl reactor, which blew up in April 1986. Between 4,000 and 1 million deaths in the surrounding areas in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia have been attributed to the disaster.
Holosha said the 255-million-euro project to build a storage for used nuclear fuel at the power plant is, however, moving ahead.
KYIV, March 16 (RIA Novosti)