Citing 33 safety issue failings, at the end of April Ukraine's nuclear regulator took the decision to suspend operations at Unit 2 of the South Ukraine nuclear power plant by a May 12 deadline, the date marking the end of the plant's design lifetime. Under the terms of the Ukrainian State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate Council's decision, should the state-owned nuclear energy operator Energoatom wish to resume the unit's operations beyond its design lifetime it will have to implement all necessary measures by May 2017.
The EBRD has denied its role in enabling Ukraine’s ageing units to operate beyond their design lifetime. It has also claimed that through the loan it has important leverage over its client Energoatom to help ensure a proper level of nuclear safety and the compliance with Ukraine’s international commitments in the nuclear energy sector. However, developments in January-May 2015 show the EBRD has been over-optimistic about the role and leverage it has gotten by granting the loan for the safety upgrade project.
Prague, Kiev - CEE Bankwatch Network and the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine (NECU) welcome the Ukrainian State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate Council's decision at its meeting last Thursday (April 30) to suspend the operation of unit 2 in the South Ukraine nuclear power plant once it exceeds its design lifetime next week. According to the Council's decision, a lifetime extension license for this 30 year old nuclear unit could be considered in the future, but only if all required conditions are met.
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.
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.
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.