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EU pledges 20 mln euros to nuclear safety account fund

Updated: 2016-04-26 11:04

BRUSSELS - The European Commission on Monday pledged around 20 million euros (22.6 million US dollars) to the Nuclear Safety Account (NSA) fund, among efforts to step up contribution to nuclear safety.

It came a day ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster.

The sum is part of the 45 million euros expected from the G7 and the European Commission in addition to the existing support to NSA, which was set up in 1993 at the initiative of the G7 to finance nuclear safety projects in Central and Eastern Europe.

"The European Union (EU) has been at the forefront of the international efforts to deal with the aftermath of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster, to decommission the nuclear power plant and to make the site environmentally safe," an EU statement quoted European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica as saying.

NSA is managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and it provides funds for the safe decommissioning of units 1 to 3 of the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

The main project currently supported by the fund is the Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility (ISF2), of which completion is foreseen for 2017. The Facility will provide for the processing and storage of the spent nuclear fuel from the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant units 1, 2 and 3, which is required for the decommissioning of the plant.

In total, the European Commission has committed around 730 million euros so far to Chornobyl projects.

On April 26, 1986, the reactor 4 at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant suffered a catastrophic power increase, leading to explosions in its core. This dispersed large quantities of radioactive fuel and core materials into the atmosphere and ignited the combustible graphite moderator.

The Chernobyl disaster was the worst nuclear power plant accident in history. (1 euro = 1.13 US dollars)

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