ERBD set to provide $437m to Chernobyl safety scheme

The board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has recommended a $437m increase in funding for a project to make the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl safe. The project is faced with a shortfall of $768m. 

A two-thirds majority of ERBD governors and shareholders will decide the approval of additional funds for the Chernobyl New Safe Confinement project.  

It is hoped that a further $206m will be contributed by the G7 group of industrialised countries and the European Commission, and that the balance of $125m will come from external donors. 

The G7 will organise a pledging event in the spring of 2015. Should these efforts fall short, the EBRD will again step in. 

The New Safe Confinement project will make the old Chernobyl shelter and remnants of the damaged reactor safe and environmentally secure. The total cost of the Shelter Implementation Plan is estimated in the range of $2.7bn. Of this, the New Safe Confinement will cost about $1.9bn. 

Sir Suma Chakrabarti, the president of the EBRD, said: "With our proposal the EBRD is showing real leadership to bring this uniquely important project to a successful conclusion. We are encouraged that the international community has also announced its readiness to step up its efforts and the EBRD will continue to support the undertaking as administrator of the Chernobyl Shelter Fund." 

A decision is expected within the next 30 days. The project is due to be finished in 2017.

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