At the moment, the situation in nuclear energy field is at its most critical in all 25 years of Ukraine’s independence, according to the Former Head of “Energoatom”, Member of Parliament Andrii Derkach.
“ Currently only seven reactors of nuclear power plants are operative. Two have entered the emergency mode in the last 24 hours. Only two nuclear reactors out of six are working at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant ”, he emphasized while making a commentary on increasing frequency of holdups in the work of Ukrainian nuclear reactors to the agency “Interfax-Ukraine”.
According to the Former Head of “Energoatom”, the mid-1990s was the last time when the situation reached such critical lengths.
“ Incumbent Minister of Fuel and Energy and Justice Minister have been stalling on the matter of unlocking the “Energoatom” accounts for three months now. Three months! Considering these emergency circumstances, there is dire need to address IAEA directly by issuing a statement on the current Ukrainian authority’s inability to control nuclear energy ”, A. Derkach believes.
He has reminded that a month ago he requested that a special meeting of the National Security and Defense Council was held on the matter of ensuring safe operation of nuclear plants. Yet the country’s leadership has not considered his request, similarly to the requests of other Members of Parliament and trade unions of “Energoatom”.
Earlier that day, Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Igor Nasalyk has also expressed his concern over the situation surrounding the frequent holdups in the work of Ukrainian energy reactors. He believes that they stem from mistakes, which have occurred in the work of nuclear sphere over the last eighteen months. The Minster has underscored that one of the key issues is the lock on the “Energoatom” accounts.
“ The Security Service and other agencies investigated these debts and they have ruled them as criminal, but as of today, Ukraine’s executive agencies have locked each and every account belonging to “Energoatom” and I cannot comprehend the reasoning behind this decision. I believe that this account lock and the inability of “Energoatom” to pay for the details poses a threat to our country ”, I. Nasalyk said.
Furthermore, on Friday morning, the nuclear reactor #2 of the South Ukrainian Nuclear Plant was shut off from the grid due to the activation of automatic protection system. Thus, as of Friday afternoon, only eight out of fifteen reactors of Ukraine’s four operational nuclear plants were working, according to the “Energoatom’s” data. Major scheduled maintenance at the reactor #1 of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Plant has been continuing for 154 days now, planned repairs at the reactor #2 of the Zaporizhzhya plant – for 96 days, major scheduled maintenance at the reactor #3 of the Zaporizhzhya plant – for 34 days, major scheduled maintenance at the reactor #3 of the South Ukrainian plant – for 76 days, planned repairs at the reactor #2 of the Rivne Nuclear Plant – for 41 days, current repairs at the reactor #3 of the Rivne plant – for 11 days.
The reactor #4 of the Zaporizhzhya plant, also shut off on May 18 due to the activation of protection system, was re-connected the next day after the faults in the discharger of “C” phase of the reactor transformer have been eliminated.