Official handover to Ukraine of the Chornobyl permanent shelter

Photo: European Union
Photo: European Union

On 10 July, the EU said it welcomes the official handover to the Ukrainian authorities of the permanent shelter – known as the New Safe Confinement – built to secure the site of the devastating reactor blast at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine in 1986.

The world's largest mobile metal structure is a result of over 20 years of planning and construction and a major effort by Ukraine and the international community.

The EU has been a major donor to the construction of the shelter, with a contribution of over €431 million. Ukraine will now be in charge of the operation and maintenance of the facility, and also the dismantling of the original shelter which was hastily built shortly after the accident.

The EU also looks forward to the completion of the new safe and secure storage (Interim Storage Facility 2) for the spent nuclear fuel, which is to become the next major step to convert the site of the tragic accident of 1986 into a stable and environmentally safe condition.

In total, the EU has spent around €1 billion to help Ukraine on nuclear safety issues since 1991. Beyond the major contributions to international nuclear safety programmes, the EU has been implementing a substantial bilateral cooperation programme with Ukraine, to which about €480 million has been granted since 1991, covering regulatory issues, safety of nuclear power plants, management of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel.

The EU has also funded a series of social projects for the benefit of the population living in close proximity to the accident site. The long overdue re-establishment of full independence of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine and the start of the transposition of EU legislation as laid down in the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement will be key priorities for our cooperation over the coming months.

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