Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 127

Ukrainian and G-7 negotiators are expected tomorrow to complete three days of negotiations in Kiev on assistance to Ukraine in closing down the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and upgrading parts of the country’s energy sector. The delegations are reportedly working on a financial package involving $450 million in grants to Ukraine, $1.8 billion in credits, and a Ukrainian contribution of $900 million. The funds are earmarked for Chernobyl’s closure and approximately 20 projects to increase the output and improve the safety of other energy plants. The chief delegates, Ukrainian environmental protection minister Yurii Kostenko and Canadian Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry’s energy and nuclear affairs director Allan Culham, reportedly anticipate a final meeting to sign the agreement before the end of this year. (7)

Last April, Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma bowed to international concern and pledged to close down the unsafe Chernobyl plant by the year 2000, but asked the G-7 and the European Union for $4 billion in aid and the construction of a gas-fired power plant to offset the lost output from Chernobyl. Chernobyl, one of Ukraine’s five NPPs, was the scene in 1986 of the world’s worst-ever civilian nuclear accident. In 1991 another one of its reactors had to be decommissioned following a fire, so that only two of its four Soviet-era RMBK reactors are still functioning. The plant currently accounts for five percent of Ukraine’s electricity output.

More Protests At Ukrainian Mines.