On Tuesday October 20, EU Ambassador Jan Tombinski delivered over €13 million of state-of-the-art equipment to the National Training Centre at the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant. The modernized centre will be commissioned in 2016.
“The aim of the Centre is to ensure the safety of nuclear power production in Ukraine,” says Ivan Serdyuk, head of the EU-funded project at the National Nuclear Energy Generating Company Energoatom, adding, “it will provide training based on the best international practices to maintenance personnel and managers of Ukrainian NPPs.”
The idea for the Centre was jointly conceived by the EU and Ukraine, and it is intended to set an example for other countries to follow in the peaceful development of nuclear power. In the future, the National Training Centre may provide training to world specialists in nuclear energy.
EU Ambassador Jan Tombinski believes that, “This Centre is unique in the world, and will not only benefit Ukraine but also help to strengthen nuclear safety worldwide.”
Yuriy Nedashkovskyi, president of the NNEGC Energoatom, also adds, “Energoatom received an extra €600 million from the European Commission and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development as part of the programme on strengthening nuclear safety.” He emphasised that Ukraine is the first country ever to receive such a donation from the EU aimed at promoting nuclear safety.
Following the Chornobyl accident, the EU launched a nuclear safety programme under TACIS (Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States) which, between 1991 and 2006, allocated some €1.3 billion to nuclear safety and security projects, with over €560 million worth of technical assistance projects implemented in Ukraine. From 2007 to 2013, the EU expanded its nuclear safety assistance and cooperation to third countries under the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC), which had a total budget allocation of €524 million. In June 2014, the strategy for the implementation of Phase 2 of the INSC (2014 – 2020) was agreed upon in Brussels, committing an extra €225 million for nuclear safety projects, some of which will finance further projects for Ukraine.
The Training Centre in Zaporizhia was initially launched by the Ukrainian Government in the late 1990s. It was put on hold for seven years before an agreement was made in 2007 with the EU to complete it using INSC resources. The total EU contribution to the Centre is more than €13 million.