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Norway to allocate $23 million for Ukraine’s nuclear safety

by Martin Fornusek June 20, 2023 4:10 PM 2 min read
A Ukrainian Emergency Ministry rescuer attends an exercise in the city of Zaporizhzhia on Aug. 17, 2022, in case of a possible nuclear incident at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant located in neighboring Enerhodar. Russian forces have been occupying the plant since the early stage of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine that began on Feb. 24, 2022. (Photo by Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP via Getty Images)
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The Norwegian Foreign Ministry announced on June 20 that Oslo will provide 250 million Norwegian kroner ($23 million) for Ukraine’s nuclear safety and security.

Around $9.3 million will be provided to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose experts are present at the Chornobyl site, the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, and three other operational nuclear plants in Ukraine.

“IAEA experts provide the international community with independent, credible assessments of the state of nuclear facilities in Ukraine. It is vital for us to have access to this kind of independent information,” Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said.

Oslo also increases the funding for nuclear safety and security cooperation with Ukraine by $14 million. The funding will be administered by the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (DSA) and will be used to reduce the risk of radiological incidents.

The ministry noted that Norway was one of the first countries to deliver nuclear safety equipment following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, namely to the Rivne Nuclear Power Plant and the Ukrainian border control authorities.

Fears over nuclear safety in Ukraine have been rising since Russia occupied the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest nuclear station in Europe, in March 2022.

The plant’s stability was put further at risk after the Kakhovka dam destruction on June 6. The station relied on water from the Kakhovka Reservoir to provide power for its turbine condensers.

IAEA’s chief Rafaelo Grossi visited the plant after the disaster, evaluating that the situation is “serious” but is being stabilized.

Stephen Zhao: Tepid response to Kakhovka dam explosion paves way for nuclear disaster
On the morning of June 6 at around 2:50 a.m., an explosion erupts at the center of the Kakhovka dam, leading to its destruction and the flooding of much of Kherson Oblast. Having been mined by Russia over the course of last year and timed exactly to disrupt
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