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Letter: EBRD and EURATOM support for life-time extension of Ukraine's nuclear reactors is in breach of international law

In this letter 46 non-governmental organisations alarm European Union representatives involved in the decision-making at the EBRD and Euratom to the fact that Ukraine is pressing ahead with its plans to extend the life-time of its old nuclear reactors even though they are in breach of international law (Espoo Convention) and without proper impact assessments and despite UKraine's obligations under the loans provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Euratom.

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A new website with inspiring stories of local sustainable initiatives shows the very real change that small-scale projects can make for local communities.

Slovak NGOs ask for re-evaluation of nuclear programme in Ukraine

Source: Spectator staff, The Slovak Spectator

UKRAINE is prolonging the lifespan of its 15 nuclear reactors from the Soviet era without a public environmental impact assessment (EIA) – thereby violating international law.

Summary of an independent review of the proposed lifetime extension of Unit 1 at the South Ukraine nuclear power plant and its compliance with relevant nuclear safety standards

This independent study reveals critical vulnerabilities in the 32 year old nuclear unit 1 in the South Ukraine nuclear power plant, whose lifetime was extended by 10 years in December 2013. The study shows the reactor pressure vessel in unit 1 has several dangerous vulnerabilities that could lead to the appearance of micro-cracks in the vessel's metal casing. The observed wear in a number of elements in the reactor vessel already exceeds tenfold tolerable levels.

New study sounds the alarm on safety in Ukrainian nuclear power plants operated beyond their design lifetime

Prague, Kiev - In December 2013, Ukraine's State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate (SNRIU) has granted a 10 years lifetime extension license to unit 1 in the South Ukraine nuclear power plant. But a new independent study reveals critical vulnerabilities in the 32 year old nuclear unit that could have dangerous ramifications.

The dash for gas in Ukraine - current trends in the production of unconventional reserves

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This study assesses the potential for the use of hydraulic fracturing in Ukraine, looking into potential impacts and costs as well as putting together the country's experiences with the technology to date. The report highlights the fact that Ukrainian companies have used hydraulic fracturing before the shale gas boom with at least two dozens of companies involved in the drilling. (In Ukraine, no specific rules or laws exist that would regulate the use of this hydraulic fracturing. The activities of relevant companies are governed by laws applicable to conventional oil and gas production.)

Agro business shooting star in Ukraine turns into nightmare for investors

The story of the defaulted company Mriya Agro Holding shows what risks investors and creditors are willing to take in the pursuit of profit in Ukraine’s agribusiness. Major creditors, including the International Finance Corporation and export credit agencies have been left with little hopes of recoveries. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has escaped the financial loss by a hair's-breadth.

Letter to EBRD: Nuclear inspections must continue in Ukraine

In a bid to help the recession-hit Ukrainian economy, the country’s government has significantly reduced regulatory obligations for businesses and state-owned companies. This includes Ukraine’s nuclear power plants which have been plagued in the recent past by ageing reactors and accidents and whose safety upgrades are receiving support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Euratom.

European banks: it's time to quit coal in Ukraine

In a street action being held today in Kiev as part of the Global Divestment Day, Ukrainians call on public and private investors to end financing for fossil fuels, in particular coal, and instead invest in renewable energy sources which represent the only independent source for the country.

UPDATE 7: Juncker on the investment offensive ... against Europeans, the economy and the environment

Labelled the €1.3 trillion investment offensive, more than 2000 projects have been identified by the European Commission’s new Task Force on Investment (made up of representatives of the EC, EIB and member states) for fast-tracked financing from President Juncker’s recently announced €315 billion stimulus plan.

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