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Nuclear safety in Europe: decision-making behind closed doors?

European citizens don’t want to be left out of decision-making over nuclear power. But a recent meeting of the Espoo Convention reveals how concerns over reactor life-time extensions are being sidelined.

Nuclear accountability curbed by EU politics and industry interests

A meeting of the parties to the UN convention on environmental impact assessment in a transboundary context (Espoo) helped to showcase the influence that politics and the nuclear industry lobby have over decisions that have potentially severe impacts on European citizens’ health and the environment.

Ukraine’s addiction to nuclear energy poses a decades-long threat to Europe

Despite an urgent need to rebuild and reshape its highly inefficient and outdated energy sector, Ukraine has recently presented a draft of its new energy strategy that looks more like of the same. While the strategy makes mention of modern renewable energy sources, targets for these are low, and nuclear energy still maintains its leading position in the mix. The country’s 15 Soviet-era reactors are expected to bridge the gap in the so-called energy transition until 2035, meaning that they would need to operate twenty years beyond their designed lifetime, posing a threat to neighbouring countries in Europe and beyond.

New cases at UN and EU bodies against Ukraine's prolongation of nuclear licenses

As pressure from civil society and governments is mounting, UN and EU bodies acknowledge Ukraine’s lack of accountability for plans to extend the lifetime of its nuclear fleet. The country could be found in breach of international law. Once again.

Ukrainischer Strom: aus veralteten AKWs

Source: Barbara Ladinser, oe1 / ORF

Nach der Atomkatastrophe von Tschernobyl könnte man meinen, dass die Erfahrung mit dem Supergau die Ukraine zur Abkehr von der Atomenergie bewogen hätte. Aber das Gegenteil ist der Fall: Bis heute deckt das Land die Hälfte des Strombedarfs mit Kernenergie. An vier Standorten werden dafür insgesamt 15 Reaktoren betrieben. Aber laut Umweltschützern wurden sechs davon bereits über ihre vorgesehene Laufzeit von 30 Jahren hinaus verlängert. Das missfällt auch der österreichischen Regierung.

New life for old nukes in Ukraine means more risk for people and planet

A decision today by Ukraine’s nuclear regulator to extend the operations of another Soviet-era reactor has been made in spite of the country’s failure to implement fully the obligations it took on when receiving EU funding for its ageing nuclear fleet.

Ukraine's nuclear programme and the Espoo Convention - letter to the Convention's Implementation Committee

Espoo bodies sent several specific recommendations concerning its non-compliance with the Espoo Convention to Ukraine. Nonetheless Ukraine seems to be either ignoring those or taking insufficient steps towards compliance. Therefore Bankwatch summarises the state-of-play in this letter and asks the Implementation Committee to consider a number of steps to ensure the Convention’s requirements are properly met by Ukraine.

Westinghouse и "Росатом". Как украинский атом стал жертвой конкурентных войн

Source: Ольга Сухаревская, РИА Новости Украина

Захватив украинский рынок ядерного топлива, Westinghouse не только получил дополнительные доходы, но и экспериментальную площадку для совершенствования собственной продукции, что позволит ей впоследствии выйти на другие европейские рынки.

Time for Europe to stop supporting Ukraine's risky nuclear power sector

Three decades after Chernobyl, nuclear power remains a mainstay of Ukrainian energy supply. Despite persistent safety problems, the Ukrainian government has approved lifetime extensions for four of its 15 nuclear units since 2010, and two more could be greenlighted later this year. What is more, Ukraine’s nuclear sector survives in part thanks to European support. The EU needs to stop supporting Kiev’s risky nuclear energy programme.

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