Blog for Segodnya.ua
Safety of Chernobyl is a success of our country. Completed installation of the new sarcophagus over the fourth power unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant gives confidence to Ukraine and the world that the source of the biggest nuclear disaster in Europe is localized and will not bring new troubles to our children and grandchildren. Many Ukrainians contributed to this achievement. But today, I would like to recall the name of a person who has been working over “Shelter 2” project since its inception and died only 10 months before its completion.
Year 2010. “Shelter 2” project elaborated by the Institute of Nuclear Power Plants’ Safety Issues of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine has been under construction for three years already. To be more precise, it is being built on paper, but in reality critical underfunding of the new sarcophagus over the fourth power unit has already disrupted the schedule of facility commissioning - 2012.
Director of the institute, academician Oleksandr Kliuchnikov regularly seeks a meeting with new leadership of the country to prove that the lifespan of temporary sarcophagus installed in 1986 has run out and disruption of the construction plans threatens Ukraine with a new Chernobyl disaster.
Kliuchnikov is convincing. We have formed a working group to prevent the new disaster, but the key problem is the lack of necessary funds. Then, the idea of international Chernobyl donor conference in Kyiv came up.
The conference was dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl tragedy. We managed to draw the attention of the whole world to it. The conference was attended by President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, President and Prime Ministers of 7 countries - France, Switzerland, Belgium, Hungary, Croatia, Lithuania and Kazakhstan. Ukraine managed to unite efforts of western partners, ensure internal funding and optimally organize work of all project participants.
In the following years, a huge work has been done and today’s shelter over the old sarcophagus has become a reality.
Today, I would like to express gratitude to the whole team of the Presidential Administration of those times, Ministry of the Emergency Situations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and administration of the Chernobyl NPP for their work. Special gratitude to academician Oleksandr Kliuchnikov who was the heart of the project.
The project was finished today, finished on schedule. But Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Kliuchnikov didn’t live to see it.
Probably, there are very few precedents in the world when security objects are named after certain persons. But the world has Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima that caused and keep causing so much misery and suffering of people.
To my mind, the new Chernobyl Arch must have a name - the name of Oleksandr Kliuchnikov. We will not be able to thank him for the safety of our children and grandchildren in another way.