On Monday the 16th April 2007, high level delegations from National organisations in Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Bulgaria, and Great Britain will be arriving in Slavutych, Kiev Region, at the invitation of the Slavutych Municipality, to take part in the important third and final international four day conference on the theme of “Social and Economic Regeneration in areas affected by Nuclear Power Plant Closures”.
The Conference is being sponsored by the UK Department of Trade and Industry within the framework of the “UK Programme for Addressing the Social and Economic Consequences of Nuclear Power Plant Closures in Central and Eastern Europe”, which is coming to a natural end after five years of support.
Programme Director at DTI, Alan Heyes said “Of all of the elements in the UK’s programme to address the Nuclear Legacy in the FSU, I was always most passionate about the local social and economic consequences of individual NPP closures. It has however, been demonstrated through this Programme, that with limited resources, properly applied, surprising things can happen and great futures can be envisioned”.
The Ukrainian component of this programme has been conducted exclusively in the Slavutych Municipality with lead implementing partners including the Slavutych Business Development Agency (a Municipal Enterprise), the Small Business Laboratory and the Community Development Centre (both Slavutych based Non-Governmental Organizations). Collectively, they have been involved in a series of business development and “good governance” initiatives as well as creating “Social Enterprises” and a Credit Union in the Town.
Volodymyr Udovychenko, Mayor of Slavutych said “We have seen a transformation in attitudes and productivity in our town over the last five year or so. There has been a dramatic move away from a pessimistic, gloomy outlook resulting from the closure of the NPP reactors and associated town services, to a more positive, confident and brighter way of thinking, which is increasingly infectious. The DTI programme has had a lot to do with this evolution”.
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Notes to Editors:
The UK DTI programme to address the social and economic consequences of nuclear power closure forms part of a much larger £32.5m per year programme to improve the nuclear safety, nuclear security and non-proliferation legacies of countries of the Former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe (nuclear safety and security and non-proliferation of nuclear materials and expertise). The UK nuclear legacy programme is the UK’s contribution to the $20 billion, over ten years, ‘Global Partnership’ programme that was agreed at the G8 Summit in Kananskis, Canada in 2002.
The Cologne European Union Council meeting in 1999 emphasized the importance of high standards of nuclear safety in Central and Eastern Europe and stressed the significance of nuclear safety in the context of the European Union’s enlargement and bi-lateral aid proposals. It was decided that assistance should be provided to encourage the closure of non-upgradeable reactors at the earliest practicable dates.
The objective of the UK Programme has been to enhance the safe operation and decommissioning of the selected Nuclear Power Plants by facilitating lasting employment in alternative activities for the employees and their families in the NPP Regions.
The outputs anticipated from the overall UK Programme in the CEE communities affected by NPP closure are:
· Employment opportunities for redundant INPP personnel;
· Sustainable businesses with UK partners;
· Development of enterprises and entrepreneurship;
· Enhancement of capacities among the labour force for adaptability and the skills needed in the labour market;
· Business infrastructure for local economic development.
Under the ‘social and economic consequences programme’ support has been given to Lithuania (Ignalina), Bulgaria (Kozloduy) and Ukraine (Chernobyl). For further, more detailed information see: http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/environment/soviet-nuclear-legacy/index.html)
At this final Programme Conference there will be keynote addresses from the Ukraine Minister of Emergencies, The British Ambassador to Ukraine and the UK DTI. These will be complimented by a series of papers and discussions highlighting the successes of pilot projects and innovative solutions to the challenges faced in and around affected Nuclear Power Plant Towns. A booklet summarising the lessons learned from the programme will also be released
The event is being jointly organized by a partnership of the Slavutych Business Development Agency (a Municipal Enterprise), the Small Business Laboratory and the Community Development Centre (both Slavutych based Non-Governmental Organizations) and HTSPE, a UK based consultancy company.
The Conference will allow the participants to share experience on the issues connected with the social and economical regeneration of the NPP Towns and to discuss the current issues and challenges as well as potential solutions, mechanism of state and municipal support of the local development and the influence on the results of the social and economic development of the regions and determine the best strategies as well.
The Conference timetable includes site visits to recent social and economic infrastructure projects in Slavutych and Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant by the participants.
For further information about the results of the UK DTI programme in Slavutych see: www.investing.org.ua