Chernobyl events putting at risk decades of efforts to secure nuclear site – EBRD

Chernobyl events putting at risk decades of efforts to secure nuclear site – EBRD

March 11, 2022

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is extremely concerned by recent developments at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine.

In a statement today, the EBRD, which has been managing over €2.5 billion in international funds to transform Chernobyl since 1995, said it believed recent events were putting in jeopardy the achievements of decades of successful international collaboration to secure the site.

The Bank’s position on Chernobyl is fully aligned with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and is based on the following safety and security considerations: 

  • Uninterrupted power supply must be maintained for the Chernobyl facilities. Any loss of power is potentially a serious threat to their nuclear safety. 
  • Since monitoring and control systems on site do not work, operators will not be aware of possible risks. They must stay in operation. 
  • The Chernobyl facilities have been operated by the same depleted shift of employees for more than two weeks. Normal shift rotation as well as supplies to operating staff must be ensured.
  • Any military action on site is extremely dangerous for the old spent fuel storage facility housing around 20000 RBMK fuel assemblies. 
  • Inspections by the Ukrainian regulator and the IAEA must be allowed.
  • Beyond Chernobyl, there are 15 VVER-type units across Ukraine. They have a relatively weak containment and will not withstand a direct hit, which may result in irreversible consequences.

Transforming Chernobyl was a long-term challenge. Through the EBRD-managed funds the international community, together with Ukraine, has managed to transform Chernobyl into an environmentally safe and secure site, the statement said.

“The ongoing war must not be allowed to ruin these achievements.” 

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