Nuclear Energy in Ukraine

Rivne NPP was allowed a dangerous experiment

Kuznetsovsk, Rivne Oblast, December 10, 2010. – The oldest nuclear reactor in Ukraine, design lifetime of which expires in December 2010, will continue operating overtime for another 20 years. Today, the State Nuclear Regulatory Committee of Ukraine made a decision to issue a license for further operation of the Unit 1 at Rivne Nuclear Power Plant.

“Lacking money to get rid of this dangerous nuclear facilities, officials from National Nuclear Energy Generating Company “Energoatom” believe that the extra years of operation will solve the problem, – says Dmytro Khmara, energy expert, the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine. – Despite the environmentalists’ concerns about threats to the environment and inexpediency of lifetime extension for an old nuclear reactor in terms of country’s energy security, it was decided to conduct this experiment.”

According to environmentalists, now the Ukrainians should expect a dramatic increase in electricity tariff, because big money, over UAH 2.4 billion, has been spent on the old reactors life extension. Also, old units require much higher insurance deductions to eliminate any possible accidents.

The operation of this particular unit makes Ukraine dependent on Russia for decades as the fuel for it can be produced only by Russian company TVEL. Besides, the public is upset about the fact that previously it was reported that the lifetime of outdated units would be extended for no more than 15 years, while “Energoatom” obtained a license for two decades.

It should be noted that Rivne NPP paid much attention to lifetime extension for the old units. Though, the other plants, which are also planning to extend the reactors operation, do not treat this issue so meticulously. Therefore, the present decision by SNRC does not mean that the life of eleven other reactors, operating term of which expires in 2020, will be similarly extended.

Research on the problem of lifetime extension for old nuclear reactors:

For more information, please contact:

Dmytro Khmara
Energy Expert, NECU
044 353 78 41