Norway grants USD 7 million to Chernobyl sarcophagus

Secretary of State Janne Haaland Matlary of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, said that the Chernobyl accident had grave consequences for Norway, making the Norwegian population really aware of the importance of running nuclear installations in accordance with the most strict safety measures. Also in her speech, she stressed that Norge strongly supports the agreement between, Ukraine, the G-7 countries and the EU Commission, on closing down of the last operating reactor at Chernobyl.

A further USD 37 million was provided by countries Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Greece, Holland, Switzerland, Spain, Luxembourg and Kuwait. The G-7 countries had allready granted USD 300 million. The total of this is that USD 300 million still is missing from fullfilling the budget. Another conference for private contributors will be held during the spring of 1998.

Vice-President of USA, Al Gore, said in his speech that the work on the new sarcophagus should start immediately, and expressed his hope that it will be internationally possible to fully finance the project. Environmental Minister of Ukraine, Yuri Kostenko, dismissed this idea, however, saying that there will be no desicion made on the question of a new sarcophagus in at least three years.

Thomas Nilsen