Photo taken on Nov. 29, 2016 shows the new protective cover over the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear reactor No.4 at Chernobyl nuclear power plant, 110 kilometers north of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. (Xinhua/Chen Junfeng)
KIEV, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine will get a loan of 250 million U.S. dollars from the U.S. institutions for a construction of a facility for nuclear waste near the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the Ukrainian government said on Thursday in a statement.
The loan agreement was signed by Ukraine's finance ministry, Ukraine's state nuclear power company Energoatom, the U.S. government's development institution Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Atlanta-based organization Central Storage Safety Project Trust.
Last month, Ukraine has started a construction of central spent fuel storage facility (CSFSF) within the 30-km-radius exclusion zone around the Chernobyl plant.
The building of the facility, which would cost an estimated 1.4 billion dollars, is aimed at boosting Ukraine's capabilities in managing and storing its nuclear waste. Currently, the East European country relies heavily on Russia for storing spent fuel from its power plants.
According to the Ukrainian government, the first stage of the CSFSF construction will be completed in 2019.
After the facility is put into operation, it will store spent nuclear fuel from three Ukrainian nuclear power plants.
Ukraine generates over half of its electricity from nuclear energy. Currently, 15 reactors in four nuclear power plants are operating in the East European country.
The Chernobyl plant located some 130 km from Kiev, witnessed one of the worst nuclear accidents in human history on April 26, 1986.
The blasts at the No. 4 reactor spread radiation across Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and other European countries.