Nuclear Energy in Ukraine

The operation of the old reactor, lifetime of which was extended for 20 years, is unstable

On January 18, 2011, an accident occurred at Rivne Nuclear Power Plant, and the reactor was subsequently taken down to 50% power output. The accident occurred at Reactor #1, the lifetime of which expired a month ago (in December 2010), but it was decided to extend its operation for another 20 years. Reactor #1 is the oldest operating reactor in Ukraine.

According to the State Inspectorate for Nuclear Regulation, the accident posed no radiation threat, as it was a failure occurrence in the turbine-generator installation. The nuclear facility itself, as the experts explain, remained in a safe condition. Meanwhile, representatives of the nuclear industry said, only a month ago, that they almost completely upgraded the first unit of Rivne NPP, and spent UAH2.4 billion for this purpose.
“This situation only proves that money spent and work done does not guarantee the safe operation of the old reactor. If the government does not stop experimenting with the extension of outdated nuclear reactors lifetime, it could lead to a new ecological catastrophe”, – say the experts from National Ecological Centre of Ukraine.

12 of 15 nuclear units in Ukraine must be shut down by 2020. According to environmentalists, huge amounts of money spent for doubtful upgrades of old reactors, would be better allocated for energy efficiency measures and development of new modern and safe energy sources.

For more information, please contact:

Dmytro Khmara,
Energy Expert, National Ecological Centre of Ukraine
dmytro.khmara at

Arthur Denysenko,
Energy program coordinator
National Ecological Center of Ukraine
Phone: +380 44 353 78 41
arthur.denisenko at