Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Kevin Rudd announced that his country would donate one million euros for the Chornobyl Shelter Fund. Minister Rudd made his statement at the OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting in Vilnius on December 6, 2011.
During his trip to Vilnius Kevin Rudd met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, who invited the Australian official to visit Ukraine next year. Minister Rudd expressed his intention to bring along a group of Australian businessmen and noted that Australia was optimistic about Ukraine’s economic development.
The contribution of Australia to the cause of containing the Chornobyl nuclear plant threat is timely since the next Assembly of Contributors to the Chornobyl Shelter Fund (CSF) is planned for December 15, 2011.
The previous meeting of the Assembly of Contributors to the CSF took place on July 7, 2011. Following that meeting, Minister Gryshchenko stated that the issue of raising funds for the Shelter Implementation Plan was finally resolved and the donors of the Nuclear Safety Account and the CSF agreed to provide the necessary financial resources for the implementation of Chornobyl projects. The Shelter Implementation Plan involves stabilization of the existing sarcophagus and construction of a New Safe Confinement for the damaged nuclear reactor.
The estimated budget of the Shelter Implementation Plan was EUR 740 million. A fundraiser held on the 25th anniversary of the Chornobyl tragedy on April 26, 2011, provided EUR 550 million of donors’ obligations. This, along with the July decision of the world donors, allowed for the immediate start of the execution of the Shelter Implementation Plan and its completion by 2015.
Chornobyl disaster occurred on April 26, 1986. The explosion and fire at the 4th reactor of the nuclear plant in the Northern Ukraine led to massive radiation leak. The construction of the original Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant sarcophagus began on May 20, 1986. In 1988 scientists announced that the sarcophagus would hold for 20 to 30 years. The CSF was established in December of 1997 to collect funds for the New Safe Confinement project. Currently, the European Union and the United States cooperate with Ukraine to help raise money for the CSF.
According to WNU