Fund aims to secure safety of Chernobyl nuclear disaster site

Britain today joined international partners in contributing to a fund to help ensure the permanent safety of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site.

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 will go towards the construction of a 257m-wide and 105m-high steel arch over the damaged Reactor 4 and a facility to safely and securely store spent nuclear fuel from Reactors 1–3.

According to the DECC, the money 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.

Energy minister Charles Hendry said: ‘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.’

UK engineers are playing a key role in cleaning up the Soviet Union’s nuclear and chemical legacy. Click here to read more.