Europe’s Greens criticize $505 million Chernobyl plant shelter deal

10:36, 21 September 2007
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"These funds could be used more efficiently," they say

Representatives of the Green faction in the European Parliament have criticized an agreement to design and erect a new safety shell over the damaged fourth reactor unit at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant signed between the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant state company and France`s Novarka, according to Ukrainian Journal.

"These funds could be used more efficiently," Rebecca Harms, a member of the European Parliament, said in an interview with Deutsche Welle on Tuesday.

As UNIAN reported earlier, on September 17, Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant signed two important contracts, one to build a new steel structure to seal off the damaged unit 4 with the Novarka consortium and another one to complete the spent nuclear fuel storage with Holtec International. Currently unit 4 is protected by a shelter built immediately after the accident in 1986 under extremely hazardous conditions and which, despite recent successful stabilisation works, is decaying.

The “New Safe Confinement” will be an arch-shaped structure 105 metres high, 150 metres long and with a span of 260 metres. It will be constructed on the site and later be slid over unit 4.

Construction work is expected to take 48-52 months and the shelter will then create the conditions for the ultimate dismantling of Chernobyl’s unit 4 which still contains 95 percent of its original nuclear inventory.

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