Fort Russ, August 29th, 2016
Translated by Tatzhit
Mihail Umanets, co-director of the reform committee for the atomic-industrial complex of Ukraine, and the former director of Chernobyl nuclear power plant:
“The state of nuclear energy today is that we are facing disaster. I declare that we are facing economic catastrophe. Judge for yourself: out of 15 nuclear reactors, which today generate 55.7% of the total electricity in Ukraine, 7 reach the end of their service life within four years. Thus, it is necessary to recondition them.
Extending the service life of a single reactor, according to our group’s preliminary calculations, would cost 300,000,000. US dollars. Multiply that by seven, we get 2.1 billion dollars that we need in the next four years. I think everybody here understands what 2.1 billion means for our esteemed government. If they manage to beg someone for extra 200 million, it is already a huge, televised victory for them. So there’s nowhere to get the required funds.
And if you do not extend the service life, then by 2020 we will lose 50% of our nuclear energy, and by 2030 we will no longer have any nuclear power plants.
Where can we get money? By the way, even if we extend the service life, but do not work on replacing the older reactors, we are again on the clock for the collapse of our energy production. I stress: this is about all energy generation.
The reason I say this is that we have no nuclear and electric power reserves, because there are none left. 80% of our energy infrastructure is worn, worn to the bone.
And the nuclear power industry today secures the safety of the whole country. Economic security. Social and political security, too. If it collapses, we will pass into slavery. Totally and forever.
And our spent nuclear fuel is exported to Russia. All of it, from every station except for the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which already has, thank God, a built storage site. But the remaining three stations all send their waste to Russia.
Sent to Russia… but that’s not the end of the story. Yes, there is a contract between Energoatom and the Krasnoyarsk Mining and Metallurgical Factory Complex, where the fuel is stored. But that contract is renewed on a yearly basis. Reviewed every year.
And said Krasnoyarsk Factory Complex doesn’t have a plant for processing of our fuel, either. And we don’t have the money to pay them to build that plant for us.
And I’d like to tell you that we have an international agreement covering the operation. I.e. sending them our spent nuclear fuel. But there is no international agreement! And Russia can rightfully refuse, even tomorrow, to take our spent nuclear fuel. I repeat: they have every right to refuse. Nobody will blame them. Moreover, we will be blamed for transferring nuclear waste without an international agreement.
I’m afraid that, as early as this winter, we will no longer have scheduled blackouts, but occasional scheduled power deliveries – and will constantly fail to meet that schedule!”