The European Commission has proposed to provide further EU assistance of €500 million to support the safe decommissioning of old Soviet-type nuclear plants in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia. The proposal foresees for Bulgaria additional €185 million until 2020, for Lithuania €210 million until 2017 and for Slovakia €105 million until 2017 (in 2011 prices).
This new financial assistance should support the efforts of the three Member States who are ultimately responsible for nuclear safety, including the financing of decommissioning. EU Commissioner for energy Günther Oettinger said: "It is in our citizens’ interest, that these reactors will be safely decommissioned and that they will never be restarted again. This additional financial support will help the three Member States to timely progress in defueling and decommissioning of these nuclear reactors. This is a clear expression of solidarity of the EU, which has put nuclear safety as a priority."
The Union assistance for decommissioning of nuclear power plants aims at reaching an irreversible state in the decommissioning process and eliminating the major source of radiological hazard.
Before the Union financial support will be provided, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Lithuania will have to meet certain conditions:
EU legislation on nuclear safety and on the management of nuclear waste has to be fully implemented.
The Member States have to create legal frameworks for the timely accumulation of national financial resources to cover the remaining financial needs. This will make sure that the Member States will be able to gradually take over the necessary financing responsibilities.
Revised detailed decommissioning plans have to be submitted to the Commission. Those plans will be the basis for monitoring the implementation of the financial assistance from the Union.