EC Nuclear Safety Programmes

Following the catastrophic accident at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 opened the gate for Western countries to support Ukraine in improving safety within its nuclear industry.

The European Union’s engagement with Ukraine began in 1991, with the establishment of a financing instrument for ‘Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States’ (TACIS).

In the field of Nuclear Safety, the TACIS Instrument was superseded in January 2007 by the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC). The INSC Programme which was available to support nuclear safety improvement to all third countries with nuclear generation, was implemented in two phases:

  1. Phase 1 implementation, 2007 to 2013
  2. Phase 2 implementation, 2014 to 2020

In 2021, the EU established a new programme to support third countries in establishing improved nuclear safety. The new instrument is called the European Instrument for International Nuclear Safety Cooperation (EI-INSC)

The European Union’s continued support to the nuclear sector of Ukraine is of vital importance for the country and its European neigh bours. That support draws from European expertise in the promotion of an effective nuclear safety culture, with focus on:

  • Assuring the highest standards of independent nuclear regulation;
  • The safe management of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel;
  • Improved safeguarding of nuclear materials.

This specific focus has facilitated significant improvement related to nuclear and radiation safety, within Ukraine’s nuclear sector, which is aligned with best intentional practice.

In addition to the financial instruments of TACIS and INSC, EU support to nuclear safety in Ukraine, has included substantial contributions to the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) managed ‘Nuclear safety Account’ (NSA) and ‘Chornobyl Shelter Fund’ (CSF). The EU financial contribution to the CSF, is equivalent to just under 30% of the total cost of €1.5Bn. Formal handover of the New Safe Confinement to Ukraine was made on the 10th of July 2019.

EU contributions to the NSA, which exceed €50M, have supported the construction of facilities designed to facilitate the longer-term decommissioning programme for Chornobyl NPP Units 1, 2 & 3.

Considering the political unrest that started in November 2013 and continued through 2014 in most regions of Ukraine, and the eight years of continued unrest in the east of the country, EU support to Ukraine has been one of the cornerstones to the country’s security and longer-term stability. The provision of support to the Ukraine’s nuclear sector, via the INSC programme, has been an essential element of that support.

The unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation on the 24th of February 2022, demonstrates the necessity to continue the provision of international support to Ukraine.

The EU financial contribution to Ukraine nuclear safety improvement programme exceeds €1.05 Bn.

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