New Sarcophagus at the Chernobyl on 26th Anniversary

Ukraine will begin the construction of a new sarcophagus at the Chernobyl nuclear plant on April 26, the 26th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear disaster, the country’s president Viktor Yanukovych said. The Chernobyl sarcophagus will cost 935 million euro ($1.2 billion) to build. Most of the money was raised through a donation drive among the world’s governments held last year, with Ukraine only contributing 6 percent of the sum.[1]

The largest part of the funding will come from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

“The needed funds are available and the work is conforming to the calendar,” said Anton Ussov, spokesman for the EBRD [2]

However, the biggest cost continues to be dealing with the growing long term health effects of the disaster 26 years ago. 7 million people are in receipt of welfare benefits due to Chernobyl. Belarus, for instance, has estimated the losses over 30 years at US $235 billion. According to Ukrainian figures, the number of people designated as permanently disabled by the Chernobyl accident (and their children) increased from 200 in 1991 to 64 500 in 1997 and 91 219 in 2001.[3]

The cleanup of the Fukushima accident last year is now estimated to be $250 billion over the next ten years[4]. This does not take into account any extra social security benefits that will have to be paid to victims of the accident.


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