KYIV. Nov 14 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Assembly of the International Chornobyl Co-Operation Account (ICCA), managed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), has approved a EUR1.1 million grant to improve fire safety in the Chornobyl nuclear power plant area.
The EBRD press release notes that the Russian military occupation of the Chornobyl exclusion zone (CEZ) has led to the destruction or looting of special fire and forestry equipment, and forest and peat fires in the zone are a constant and serious problem of potential radioactive contamination of the territory.
"The funds of up to EUR 1.1 million are intended to finance the urgent procurement of fire safety equipment that is required to re-establish the CEZ administration’s capacity to prevent, detect and fight forest fires across the 30-kilometer zone. Following the occupation of the CEZ by Russian troops from February to April 2022, more than 90 per cent of the administration’s specialised firefighting and forestry machinery was destroyed or displaced," the EBRD said in the press release.
"The Russian military occupation of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant site left a trail of devastation. The infrastructure required to support operations at the world’s most vulnerable nuclear facility was critically damaged. The EBRD has a long and proud history of supporting Chornobyl’s decommissioning and safety and we would like to make sure that years of patient progress at the site through international collaboration are not jeopardized," Balthasar Lindauer, EBRD Director, Nuclear Safety Department, said.
The ICCA was established in November 2020 by the EBRD at the request of the government of Ukraine. It was set up as a multilateral fund to support the development of a comprehensive plan for Chornobyl, to consolidate existing planning as well as optimise and integrate all approaches to radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. Recently, the scope of the Account has been broadened to support the restoration of safety and security within the CEZ.
As reported, the Chornobyl nuclear power plant was occupied from the first day of the war until the end of March. The Security Service of Ukraine has collected evidence that units from the Russian Federation, which carried out the forcible seizure of facilities in CEZ and controlled them from February 24 to March 31, 2022, committed an act of nuclear terrorism.