Nuclear Energy in Ukraine

Completion of nuclear reactors at Khmelnytska NPP means neglecting the security

Kyiv, 14 December, 2010. – The National Ecological Centre of Ukraine considers the country’s government plans on further construction of Unit-3 and Unit-4 at Khmelnytska Nuclear Power Plant to be risky and irrelevant. The experts from the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine released the results of the research [1] on the irrationality of further construction of two power units at Khmelnytska NPP.

Construction of Unit-3 and Unit-4 at Khmelnytska NPP had started back in 1985. Construction stopped after the announcement of a moratorium on the construction of nuclear facilities following the Chernobyl accident. Based on the results of the tender in 2008, reactors of different design are planned to be installed on the old structures. This can be dangerous because the new design of VVER-1000/V-392 reactor facility contains some design differences, which makes the project essentially more complicated. Moreover, VVER-1000/V-392 model was not implemented in anywhere in the world, so attempts to install unverified reactor facility raises the risk of its operation.

There are doubts as to durability and reliability of existing infrastructures which have not been treated for preservation and just have been standing idle in the open air for quarter century.

“Attempts to use structures, most of which were damaged by fire in 1989, and many premises located below zero line are water-covered, look like speculative activities in respect of security and as a “Russian roulette” game. It becomes clear that the type of reactor was chosen without regard to its ability to be placed into the existing structures”, – says energy program coordinator of the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine Arthur Denisenko.

The world already witnessed a similar situation in Bulgaria, where there have been the unfinished units of Belene NPP since the Soviet Union. After the examination of the structures (which, unlike Ukrainian have been treated for preservation) the commission decided on complete removal of existing infrastructure for new units. The dismantling costs made up EUR 112,000,000, which appeared to be cheaper than “adjusting” old structures for new reactor systems.

Moreover, there are no economic needs for the completion of two units at Khmelnytska NPP: there is excess of electric power in Ukraine and no expected growth of consumption occurs. Even during the peak of electricity consumption, in late February 2010, five of the fifteen operating units did not transmit electric power into the grid.

“Costs for completion of two unnecessary reactors would be borne by ordinary people through electricity tariffs and budgetary allocations to overcome the effects of the nuclear industry operation”, – noted the expert on energy issues from NECU Dmytro Khmara.

According to preliminary estimates, the construction of Unit-3 and Unit-4 at Khmelnytska NPP would need about UAH 30 billion (approx. Euro 3 bln). According to environmentalists, this money would be better invested in energy efficiency and energy saving measures.

Information:

The provision for further construction of two units at Khmelnytska NPP is made in the Energy Strategy of Ukraine by 2030 which from the first day of its approval was much-criticized because of inflated estimates of economic growth and energy consumption. In April 2010, the Government of Ukraine approved the agreement with Russia for units further construction crediting.

For more information please contact:

Arthur Denisenko
National Ecological Centre of Ukraine
Phone: +380 44 3537841
arthur.denisenko AT necu.org.ua
www.necu.org.ua

[1] NECU research on further construction of Unit-3 and Unit-4 at Khmelnytska NPP:
http://www.necu.org.ua/wp-content/uploads/x3_x4-201012.pdf