€100m needed for Chernobyl invasion repairs

Article by Adam Duckett

€100m (US$107m) is needed for repairs at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant following the Russian military’s occupation of the stricken facility.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has said it needs international donors to help after the military dug trenches disturbing the contaminated topsoil, stole the site’s firefighting vehicles, removed IT equipment needed for safe operations, and damaged roads to the facility. It says the site is now only reachable by boat.

During Russia’s occupation of the site from 24 February until 31 March, staff rotation was limited, maintenance and repair activities were prevented, radiation monitoring systems stopped working, and safeguard monitoring systems stopped transmitting. The site also lost power briefly and had to rely on diesel generators. A mission of nuclear experts led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived at the site on the 26 April – the 36th anniversary of the plant’s meltdown – to help personnel begin to make the plant safe again.  

“Thanks to the heroic efforts of Chernobyl Nuclear Power plant personnel, we did not lose control over nuclear materials and radiological waste,” said Valerii Seyda, Acting Head of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. He was speaking in a video posted by the EBRD on 18 May that shows the damage inflicted on the site. “The damage is so blatant that without the support of the international community, we will be unable to return to the pre-war status quo for a disastrously long time.”

Article by Adam Duckett

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