Participants of the Joint Committee «Ukraine – EBRD» discussed the need for full financing of the Chornobyl NPP to ensure the functioning of facilities built with international partners
At the meeting of the Joint Committee «Ukraine – European Bank for Reconstruction and Development», which took place in the format of an online conference at the Government House with the participation of Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olga Stefanishina, Vice President for Policy and Partnership of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Pierre Heilbronn, First Deputy Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of Ukraine Bohdan Borukhovskiy, Head of the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management Serhii Kalashnyk, Volodymyr Peskov, Acting Director General of the Chornobyl NPP, and representatives of the executive authorities, discussed the financing of the Chornobyl NPP this year, as well as budget financing planning for 2021 and further cooperation with international partners.
In her welcoming speech, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olga Stefanishyna noted that since the previous meeting, concrete steps have been taken to decommission the Chornobyl NPP and bring the station site to a safe condition, and assured that work on budget improvements will be continued.
Pierre Heilbron, Vice President for Policy and Partnership of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, stressed that the issue of achieving radiation safety at the Chornobyl site is extremely important for the entire European community and the EBRD. And any financial difficulties that may affect the operation of facilities built with the financial support of the international community may send a negative signal to continue cooperation with Ukraine.
First Deputy Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine Bohdan Borukhovskyi informed international partners about the Ministry's actions to ensure the financing of the Chornobyl NPP and further cooperation with the EBRD.
Currently, the Ministry of Environment is actively cooperating with the Ministry of Finance, the Budget Committee and the Committee on Environmental Policy and Nature Management to address the issue of financing the Chornobyl NPP in 2021. «We have a positive dynamics of meetings with the committees and we are confident that between the first and second readings we will be able to achieve the necessary indicators in the budget for next year», – said Bohdan Borukhovsky.
Serhii Kalashnyk, Head of the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management, informed the participants of the Joint Committee «Ukraine – European Bank for Reconstruction and Development» about the state of approval of the bill «On Amendments to the National Program of Decommissioning of the Chornobyl NPP system» for the period from 2021 to 2031.
«Amendments to the National Program for the decommissioning of the Chornobyl NPP and the transformation of the Shelter into an ecologically safe system will be the legal basis for the implementation of a set of measures and tasks and will allow the Ministry of Finance to take into account the relevant funds for the implementation of all necessary funds. Steps», – Serhii Kalashnyk, the Head of SAUEZM, emphasized.
The draft law went through all the procedures for passing the strategic environmental assessment and was sent for approval to the relevant ministries and agencies. Approvals, proposals and comments, in accordance with the Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, were received from all CEBs except the Ministry of Finance. The lack of a relevant opinion by the Ministry of Finance delays the process of approving and sending the bill to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine for a decision on submission to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
According to the draft law «On Amendments to the National Program for Decommissioning of the Chornobyl NPP and Transformation of the Shelter Object into an Ecologically Safe System» for the period from 2021 to 2031, in particular, for 2021 NPPs need more than UAH 2 billion. To date, according to the draft State Budget for 2021, funding for measures aimed at maintaining the safe condition of power units and the Shelter Object, as well as preparation for the decommissioning of the Chornobyl NPP, is provided by 50%. To ensure 100% financing of SSE «ChNPP», namely: commissioned facilities (NSC, liquid radioactive waste processing plant, industrial complex for processing solid radioactive waste, as well as the Spent Fuel Storage Facility (ISF-2)), built at the expense of international donors through funds administered by the EBRD, it is necessary to allocate additional funds in the amount of more than UAH 1 billion.
Volodymyr Peskov, Acting Director General of the Chornobyl NPP, informed about the conduct of «hot» ISF-2 tests, during which spent nuclear fuel is transported from the «wet» type ISF-1 storage facility to the «dry» type ISF-2 storage facility.
Today, according to the schedule, the date of completion of hot tests is scheduled for December 2020, and in April 2021 it is planned to obtain a license to operate ISF-2. But partial financing of the needs of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant may jeopardize the relevant work in 2021.