(QHA) -

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is ready to send additional EUR 350 million for construction of the New Safe Confinement (NSC) at Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), EBRD Director for Nuclear Safety Vince Novak has said.

"The EBRD Board is ready to disburse EUR 120 million now to finance the construction of the new confinement and another EUR 230 million at the end of November [after discussion at a meeting]. Thus, the EBRD will be the main donor of the financial aid," the press service of the Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry reported, referring to Novak.

The completion of the project is scheduled for end-2017. The total cost of the Shelter Implementation Plan, of which the New Safe Confinement is the most prominent element, is estimated at EUR 2.15 billion. Of this, the New Safe Confinement will cost about EUR 1.5 billion.

The Chornobyl Shelter Fund was set up in 1997 with the EBRD as administrator and to date has received contributions from 43 donor governments.

Note: 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine (then officially the Ukrainian SSR), which was under the direct jurisdiction of the central authorities of the Soviet Union exploded. An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere, which spread over much of the western USSR and Europe.

The Chernobyl disaster was the worst nuclear power plant accident in history in terms of cost and casualties, and is one of only two classified as a level 7 event (the maximum classification) on the International Nuclear Event Scale (the other being the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011).