YEREVAN, March 13. / ARKA /. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) wil provide Ukraine with a 300 million euro loan to upgrade its operating nuclear power units and bring them in line with international safety standards, including those of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The largest loan-funded nuclear safety project for the EBRD to date will, depending on reactor type, include up to 87 safety measures addressing design safety issues comprising the replacement of equipment in safety relevant systems, improvements of instrumentation and control for safety relevant systems and the introduction of organizational improvements for accident management, the EBRD said in a press release.
Euratom, the European Atomic Energy Community, will provide €300 million towards the total cost of the program, which is estimated at €1.4 billion. It is an evolving program which can incorporate new measures to address additional issues should they arise to improve the safety of the power units. The upgrade is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017.
Ukraine’s state-owned company Energoatom currently operates 15 nuclear power units at four sites across the country. Two of these reactors – Khmelnitsky 2 and Rivne 4 – have already been modernised with support by the EBRD and Euratom. Building on this successful project the current upgrade is designed to strengthen the safety of nuclear power generation which accounts for almost half of the country’s electricity output.
Besides the safety measures, the project will promote reforms in the nuclear energy sector in Ukraine, strengthen the independence and funding of the nuclear regulatory authority and improve its decommissioning and waste management programs. As a result Energoatom will also improve its transparency, corporate governance and establish new environmental standards.
The EBRD is the largest financial investor in Ukraine. As of 1 January 2013 the Bank had committed over €8.2 billion (US$ 10.7 billion) through 318 projects in Ukraine. -0-