Minister Dion announces further support to help address aftermath of 1986 Chornobyl nuclear accident

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April 25, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada will continue to support international efforts dealing with the containment and safe storage of radioactive materials resulting from the 1986 accident at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, in Ukraine, with a contribution of $3.6 million.

Canada’s contribution to international efforts to address nuclear safety at the Chornobyl site is intended to help the Ukrainian people deal with the devastating consequences of the accident.

The Minister made the announcement ahead of the 30th anniversary of the April 26, 1986, accident and as international donors meet in Kyiv, Ukraine, to discuss the work to safely and securely store spent nuclear fuel. This work is nearing completion but could face delays owing to a shortage of funding.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which manages this project on behalf of international donors, has advised that additional funding of €105 million (approximately $152 million) is required for the safe and secure storage of spent nuclear fuel, which is currently stored in an inadequate and deteriorating facility.

Quotes

“Nuclear safety requires the global community to work together. As we renew our efforts to strengthen nuclear safety worldwide we are reminded of the consequences should we fail. On the 30th anniversary of the tragic accident at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant, Canada remains committed to ensuring that the site is contained, stable and environmentally safe.”

– Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • Canada’s contribution of $3.6 million to support the completion of Chornobyl’s Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility 2 (ISF-2) is part of an overall contribution of €45 million (approximately $65 million) by the G7 and the European Union (EU) to this effort.
  • The ISF-2 facility is intended for the spent nuclear fuel assemblies and additional absorbers currently stored at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant and will provide the essential infrastructure for the safe and secure storage of spent nuclear material for over 100 years and for the preparation of decommissioning the reactors.
  • Canada has provided approximately $117 million to the Nuclear Safety Account and the Chornobyl Shelter Fund, managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The Chornobyl Shelter Implementation Plan, which was agreed between Ukraine and the G7 and EU in 1997, is scheduled to be completed in November 2017.

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