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Nuclear Safety Cooperation

EU Contribution to EBRD - CSF Monitoring

Status
Closed
Ukraine
Benefitting Zone
Eastern Europe
€ 2,000,000.00
EU Contribution
Contracted in 2012
INSC
Programme
Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation

Details

Type of activity

Mitigation of Chernobyl accident

Nature

Financing Agreement

Contracting authority

European Commission

Method of Procurement

Non applicable

Duration

02/08/2012 - 01/01/2018

Partner

Government of Ukraine

Contractor

EUROPEAN BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT

Project / Budget year
  • Support measures 2017 for the INSC management / 2017
  • INSC 2011 part II - Chernobyl - 1 action fiche / 2011

Background

The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP) is situated 110 Km north of Kiev. Its construction began in the 1970s and by 1983 four units were in operation producing about 10 percent of Ukraine’s electricity. Two additional units were under construction. On 26 April 1986, the world’s worst nuclear accident occurred, which destroyed Unit 4 of the power plant and resulted in the release of radioactive materials into the environment. The nearby city of Chernobyl, located about 15 km away from the power plant had a population of 12,500, but the city was not the residence of the power plant workers. When the power plant was under construction, Prypiat, a city larger and closer to the power plant, had been built as home for the power plant workers. It had a population of just under 50,000 at the time of the accident. Evacuation of the population of Prypiat began about 40 hours after the accident. Later other population areas within a 30km radius were evacuated, including the city of Chernobyl. By 14th May 1986, some 116,000 people had been evacuated. In the years following the accident, a further 220,000 people were resettled into less contaminated areas, and the initial 30 km radius exclusion zone (2800 km2) was modified and extended to cover about 4300 km2.

Following the accident a Shelter (sometimes referred to as a ‘sarcophagus’) enclosing the remains of ChNPP Unit 4 was constructed under exceedingly hazardous conditions. Units 1, 2 and 3 (adjacent to Unit 4) were put back into operation, raising the fear of another accident.

The Shelter was not intended to be a permanent solution. In fact, it became increasingly unstable and deteriorated allowing the ingress of rainwater. There was a risk of collapse due to seismic disturbance, extreme weather or further deterioration of the structure. There existed a strong possibility of contamination of the surrounding zone until the highly radioactive material contained under the Shelter could be adequately isolated from the environment.

In May 1997 a group of international experts from the EU, USA, Japan and Ukraine finalized a multidisciplinary construction management programme designated as the Shelter Implementation Plan (SIP). The development of the SIP was financed by the TACIS programme and the US DoE. It envisaged remedial work on the Shelter directed towards making it physically stable and environmentally safe. In the same year, the G7, the Commission and other donors requested the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to set up the Chernobyl Shelter Fund (CSF) to finance the SIP. For further information on the EU contributions to the CSF, see Contract 302276.

In 2007, ten years after the agreement on the SIP between the G7, the EC and Ukraine, most of its tasks had been completed. The required site infrastructure and facilities had been built and the stabilization of the shelter had been finished. This made possible the start of the construction of the New Safe Confinement (NSC) which represents the last major construction project at the site.

Important delays occurred in the implementation of the SIP, impacting both the date of commissioning of the NSC and the overall cost. The delays were mostly caused by the lack of a stable institutional environment (frequent changes in the political leadership and upper management caused disruptions), the time required for the regulatory reviews and technical decisions (which had not been included in the original schedule) and the requirements to create a legal and regulatory framework to address the unique situation caused by the accident and the needs of the SIP.

Results

Monitoring

Further to the conclusions of the European Court of Auditors audit at the end of 2008, the Commission took an active role in creating the Chernobyl G8 Nuclear Safety and Security Group (G8 NSSG) - EBRD Contact Group. The Group follows and monitors in practically real time the major developments with the Chernobyl projects and funding needs, so that the major donors may take well informed decisions. This Group became particularly important in view of the increasing complexity of the technical and financial decisions to be taken during the design and construction phases of the project, as well as the funding requirements. The Contact Group has met regularly since the end of 2009 and reports to the G8 NSSG.

However, given the past experience with delays and cost increases and in order to follow the Chernobyl projects on a daily basis, the EU made its 2011 pledge to the CSF conditional on the implementation of an enhanced monitoring of the projects. This was to be achieved through the establishment of a Chernobyl Projects Monitoring Account (CPMA) through which an independent Site Monitoring and Reporting Contractor (SMRC) would be engaged to provide the Bank and subsequently major donors with information and conclusions on key cost and schedule independently from project implementation structures. The tasks of the SMRC were to familiarise itself with cost estimates and schedules established for the two projects and to monitor the implementation of the projects against these benchmarks. In addition the team was expected to analyse project risk registers and their management. In the initial stage of the assignment the SMRC was also expected to review the quality assurance arrangements in place. The CPMA is managed by the EBRD, and is funded mainly by the European Commission, on behalf of the EU, and the United States.

In addition to the CSF projects, the SMRC was also expected to monitor the implementation of projects financed through the Nuclear Safety Account (NSA), another fund managed by the EBRD and which provides financing of projects for the construction of facilities required to support the decommissioning of the Chernobyl NPP. For more information on the NSA and the related financial contributions of the EU, see Contract 203254.

The present contract was for the EC contribution to the CPMA of €2 million.

Links

Further information on the Chernobyl Shelter Fund can be found at: https://www.ebrd.com/what-we-do/sectors/nuclear-safety/chernobyl-shelter-fund.html

Further information on the Nuclear Safety Account can be found at: https://www.ebrd.com/what-we-do/sectors/nuclear-safety/chernobyl-nuclear-safety-account.html
https://www.ebrd.com/downloads/research/factsheets/nsae.pdf