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Nuclear Safety Cooperation

Contribution to the NDEP Support Fund

Benefitting Zone
Eastern Europe / North Asia
€ 30,000,000
EU Contribution
Contracted in 2003
Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States


Type of activity

Waste Management


Not applicable

Contracting authority

European Commission

Method of Procurement

Non applicable


03/09/2003 - 03/01/2008



Project / Budget year

2003 Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership Support Fund / 2003


The Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP) was created in 2001 and is a partnership of the European Commission (EC), Russia, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), the Nordic Environmental Finance Corporation (NEFCO) and the World Bank as well as a number of donor countries. It originated from the European Union’s (EU) Northern Dimension initiative which is an instrument of cooperation between the EU and its Member States and partner countries in the region of the Baltic and Arctic Seas - Russia, Iceland, and Norway. The Northern Dimension aims at supporting sustainable development, stability, welfare and security in the northern parts of Europe.

The Northern Dimension covers a range of sectors, such as energy, transport, environment, justice and home affairs, the fight against organized crime, health care, promotion of trade and investment, cross border cooperation, information technology and research. The NDEP contributes to the environment sector through the implementation of environmental projects which are financed from a dedicated multilateral fund - the NDEP Support Fund - and loans from several international financial institutions.

The Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership Support Fund and its Nuclear Window

The NDEP Support Fund was established in July 2002 to pool donor contributions for the improvement of the environment in north-west Russia. Contributors to the Fund are the European Union and Russia as well as Belarus, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK.

The Fund is divided into two so-called 'Windows'; environmental and nuclear safety. With regard to nuclear safety, the environmental challenges posed by the large amounts of spent nuclear fuel in north-west Russia coming from nuclear-powered submarines and ice-breakers, as well as other radioactive wastes, are of huge importance and concern to the whole region. Improving nuclear safety in north-west Russia is essential for safeguarding the environment against nuclear contamination and addressing non-proliferation issues associated with these materials. The nuclear window of the NDEP Support Fund is intended to finance projects aimed at mitigating the legacy of the operation of nuclear-powered ships and submarines of the Northern fleet in Russia that are in different stages of decommissioning. This financing should complement Russian and bilaterally funded programmes, including several TACIS projects, aimed at the decommissioning of nuclear-powered vessels, provision of safe and secure infrastructure for nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel and the environmental rehabilitation of the sites in the region.

The nuclear window of the fund became operational in May 2003 following the signing of the Multi-Lateral Nuclear Environmental Programme in Russia (MNEPR). It was further supported by the announcement of the G-8 initiative against the spread of weapons and materials of mass destruction (Kananaskis Summit, Canada, 2002), which gave priority to the safe and secure decommissioning of Russian nuclear submarines.

Pledging and EC contributions

The NDEP pledging conference held in Brussels on 9 July 2002 was a key event in the setting up of the NDEP Support Fund. It was agreed to establish the NDEP Support Fund, and some €122 million was pledged by the Russian Federation and seven other countries, including €50 million from the European Commission. France, UK, Canada, Germany and Belgium also pledged to the Fund soon after the conference raising the fund to €170 million. Thereafter, further contributions continued to be pledged at subsequent Assembly of Contributors meetings.

The EC pledge of €50 million was paid through contribution agreements with the EBRD from the TACIS financial envelope. The contributions were divided into parts specifically earmarked for either the environmental or nuclear window. Regarding the contributions to the nuclear window, these were paid in two instalments from the TACIS budget years 2003 and 2004 as follows:

  • 1st instalment: TACIS 2003, Contract 71837 - €20 million (the total payment was €30 million and included a €10 million contribution to the environmental window).
  • 2nd instalment: TACIS 2004, Contract 115198 - €20 million.

Strategic Master Plan

The NDEP Assembly of Contributors approved the financing of a Strategic Master Plan (SMP) which was initiated in 2004. This is a top level work programme aimed at helping the decision-makers with the definition and prioritisation of projects.

The SMP is a living document that can be continuously modified according to needs.

The SMP has produced an analytical overview of the existing state of decommissioning works in north-west Russia and the associated legal and regulatory framework and has established strategic goals. Further development was aimed at finalising the strategy and developing an overall plan from which projects would be defined.

Strategic Environmental Assessment

Parallel to the development of the Strategic Master Plan (SMP), the nuclear window of the NDEP financed the implementation of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). The aim of this project was to evaluate the potential environmental impact of the activities defined in the Plan for the decommissioning of nuclear-powered naval vessels and other radiologically dangerous facilities in north-west Russia.

To achieve its goal, the SEA formulated the environmental criteria for the development and implementation of proposed projects. It also investigated their likely consequences on the environment and the local communities, taking into account health and safety concerns and relevant social issues.

The SEA conclusions facilitate the selection of further Nuclear Window projects and complement the SMP in its role as a unique document that equips the Russian authorities with strategic knowledge about priority areas of decommissioning assistance.


Further information on the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership can be found at:…