NUCLEAR SAFETY: TACIS INTERVENTION IN UKRAINE, NORTHERN RUSSIA AND KAZAKHSTAN.
In its reply to the MEP, the Commission recalls that, in November 2003, External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten effectively laid the first stone of an Industrial Complex for Solid Radioactive Waste Management (ICSRM) installed at the Chernobyl nuclear complex in order to reprocess nuclear waste on site. The total budget for the project is Euro 44 million, according to the Commission, Euro 41.3 million coming from the TACIS programme with the remainder provided by the Ukrainian Government. Moreover, an on-site co-ordination unit, in charge of project the management will benefit from Euro 4.25 million in additional funding until July this year, with scope for a Euro 3.5 million budget extension. The Commission adds that this plant is part of a more general programme which also includes installations funded through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's Nuclear Safety Fund, namely the Liquid Radwaste Treatment Plant (LRTP - Euro 25.7 million) and an installation for the processing and storage of spent fuel (ISF - Euro 95.3 million).
The Commission indicates that, besides the programme developed in Chernobyl, the TACIS programme is funding a series of projects concerning the problem of nuclear waste in North-West Russia in the context of the Environment Fund for the Northern Dimension (Euro 40 million), as well as projects such as LEPSE concerning spent nuclear fuel from ice-breakers stored on vessels. Preliminary work costing about Euro 2 million was carried out in 1998-1999, and unspecified additional sums are proposed for the pursuit of work and in particular the unloading of spent fuel.
Finally, the Commission indicates that the TACIS programme finances projects in Kazakhstan, projects that aim notably to resolve the problem of nuclear waste from the Semipalatinsk nuclear testing centre, at which 460 nuclear weapons were tested over the period 1949-1989. A budget of Euro 1 million was reserved for the programme in 2003, with some Euro 4 million anticipated for the 2004-2006 multi-annual indicative programme.