28/7 Tass 356
KIEV, July 28 (Itar-Tass) —— Ukraine has raised the full sum needed for its Chernobyl projects, the Finance Ministry’s press service said.
“Taking into account April’s donor conference in Kiev and additional obligations assumed by France, the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the need for funding for the Chernobyl project in the amount of 740 million euros has been met in full,” the press service said.
On July 26, the EBRD Board of Governors approved an additional contribution of 70 million euros to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund and the Nuclear Safety Account. Prior to that, the Bank had provided 120 million euros for these purposes.
Ukraine raised 550 million of the needed 740 million euros at the donor conference in Kiev on April 19, 2011. After the conference a number of countries agreed to contribute as well.
On April 26, 2011, it was 25 years since the Chernobyl disaster. The Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster occurred on April 26, 1986. An explosion in one of the reactors led to radioactive contamination of an area within 50 kilometres.
It will take about 100 years to decommission the Chernobyl nuclear power plant where a big accident occurred in 1986, first deputy head of Ukraine’s agency that controls the exclusion zone around the station, Dmitry Bobro, said.
“The period of decommissioning is one hundred years. The reason is considerable radioactive contamination and the condition of the casing over destroyed reactor No. 4,” he said on Monday, March 28.
Bobro said about 125 million U.S. dollars would be needed for this annually in the next five years.
Work started in September 2010 to build a new casing over reactor No. 4. Ukraine hopes to complete the work in 2015.
Fallout of 190 tonnes of radioactive substances was one of the consequences of the nuclear accident in Soviet Ukraine. Eight out of 140 tonnes of the fuel from the exploded reactor had erupted into the air. People at Chernobyl were exposed to radiation 90 times stronger than that after the bombing of Hiroshima, and an area of 160,000 square kilometres was contaminated with radiation.
In addition to Ukraine and Belarus, 19 Russian regions with a population of 2.6 million people were contaminated.
Correspondent Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexei Yablokov said that life in the area 50 kilometres around the nuclear power plant will never be possible because of plutonium contamination. Plutonium’s half-life is 300,000 years.
In his words, the size of the hazardous areas will decrease with time, but large territories outside the 50-kilometre zone will remain dangerous for health for 180,000-200,000 more years.
Yablokov stressed that about five million people are living in these territories in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said earlier that no one state could cope with the aftermath of such nuclear disasters as Chernobyl or Fukushima-1 and called for joint efforts to respond to such emergencies.
“Only a community of states can effectively respond to such tragedies,” Yanukovich said. “The world has been rattled by natural disasters which make safe operation of nuclear facilities a particularly pressing issue.”
Ukraine raised over 500 million euros at the recent conference marking the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.
Yanukovich thanked the European Commission for the financial support.
The European Commission confirmed its readiness to provide an additional 110 million euros for finishing the construction of a new casing for the exploded reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
The European Commission is the main donor for the Shelter Project at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso Barroso said.
The European Commission is ready to provide 110 million euros for finishing the project.
Barroso assured Yanukovich that Ukraine could count on his support on all matters related to the safety of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Ukraine’s Energoatom company operates four nuclear power plants in Ukraine: Zaporozhye, South Ukrainian, Rovno, and Khmelnitsky HPPs.
Energoatom company and Russia’s Atomstroyexport have signed a contract for drafting a technical project for units 3 and 4 at the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant in Ukraine.
In 2009, 15 percent of the world’s electricity came from nuclear power, despite concerns about safety and radioactive waste management. More than 150 naval vessels using nuclear propulsion were built.
More and more countries, developing and developed, come to understand the need for nuclear energy and there is a global trend called “nuclear Renaissance”. The most moderate forecasts indicate that up to 500 nuclear reactors will operate worldwide by 2030 (compared to 442 now).
Every year, nuclear power plants save 700 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in emissions in Europe and 270 million tonnes of CO2 in Japan. Russians nuclear power plants save 210 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in the country, which ranks it fourth in the world in this respect.
The largest number of nuclear power plants (63 plants and 104 reactors) is operating in the United States. It is followed by France with 58 reactors, and Japan with 54 reactors. Russia has 10 nuclear power plants and 32 reactors.