The United Kingdom today joined international partners in contributing to a fund to ensure the permanent safety of the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
This came as delegations from around the world gathered in Kiev to mark the 25th anniversary of the world’s most severe nuclear disaster.
As part of the G8’s commitment to the safety and stabilisation of the Chernobyl site, the UK has made contributions totalling £28.5m in this donor pledging round to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)-managed international funds.
This contribution, which is in addition to UK contributions in previous pledging rounds of over €81M, will go towards the construction of a 257 metre-wide and 105 metre-high steel arch over the damaged Reactor 4 and a facility to safely and securely store the spent nuclear fuel from Reactors 1-3.
The funds will help convert the site of the 1986 accident and the increasingly unstable sarcophagus over the damaged Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant into a safe and secure condition, preventing the further release of radioactive material into the environment.
Representing the UK, Energy Minister Charles Hendry said:
“The disaster at Chernobyl had a profound effect on the Ukrainian people, their neighbours and their environment, and on the world.
“Many countries, including the UK, were affected by the radioactive material from the Chernobyl disaster. As a result governments across the world continue to work vigorously to ensure the utmost standards of safety.
“The funding we are pledging today will go some way to international efforts to ensure the permanent safety and stability of the Chernobyl site, to prevent it from posing any further hazard to health and the environment.”
Notes for editors
- More detail on pledges to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund
- The £28.5m in this donor pledging round includes £9.5m in 2008 from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-managed Global Threat Reduction Programme to the EBRD-managed Chernobyl Shelter Fund (CSF) and Nuclear Safety Account, plus a contribution in March 2011 of £19m from Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) funds.
- The G7/8 has led on contributions to Chernobyl since the 1997 G7 Denver Summit, and has made commitments to the remediation of Chernobyl in most summit declarations since then. The 2010 Muskoka G8 Declaration stated: “As we approach the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident in 2011, we will take the necessary steps to complete the final stages of the Chernobyl safety and stabilization projects”.
- DECC Chernobyl webpage