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Andrii Derkach
Member of
Ukrainian Parliament
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MPs have called upon the IAEA to regard the situation surrounding the safety at Ukrainian NPPs

  • 03.06.2016
  • "Versii"
2016

Members of Parliament of Ukraine have decided to forward the letter to the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Yukiya Amano with a request to regard the situation surrounding the safety at Ukrainian nuclear power plants.

We wish to inform you of the critical situation related to ensuring the safety of nuclear reactors of the domestic nuclear power plants and the measures pertinent to their continued exploitation ”, reads the letter transmitted to the journalists during the press conference held at the “Interfax-Ukraine” agency on Friday.

According to one of the letter’s authors, MP Andrii Artemenko , in the last decades, little to none has been achieved in this field in Ukraine. “ Basically it has been turned into a pocket used by various interested parties to pull out billions and those people are not planning to stop now ”, he said.

The letter provides information on violations in the work of Ukrainian NPPs, unscheduled outages of nuclear reactors, inadequate human resource policy in this field, as well as distressing situation with the organization and carrying out the annual scheduled maintenance and preparation of the nuclear reactors for operation after the plant life extension.

A significant issue is the lack of funds for the export of spent fuel to the Russian Federation, since the funds for such activities are provided only up to 40% of their total amount in the electricity tariffs approved by the National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission ”, the MP letter says.

According to the authors, this may resume the rolling blackouts or subvert the work of Ukraine’s energy system, which could potentially threaten national energy security.

Member of Parliament Andrii Derkach has stated that the state and relevant agencies do not pay enough heed to the matters of nuclear energy. “ We live in certain conditions created by the inactivity of the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry and permissive attitude demonstrated by the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate ”, he said, adding that nuclear energy has become a hostage of the situation at hand, which poses a serious threat to national security.

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Andrii Derkach and Andrii Artemenko

You are aware that nuclear trade unions are boycotting the Cabinet and Justice Ministry because of these unresolved issues. Particularly, the accounts of the SE NNEGC “Energoatom” have been blocked. Justice Minister Petrenko has taken a completely irresponsible stance on this matter. You know, if need be, we could give some advice on how to unlock the accounts quickly. The situation in the field is beginning to look more and more critical. Yet there is no adequate reaction from the Cabinet, the President or other public authorities.

Just take a minute and think about what is happening: there’s been a total shutdown of the South Ukrainian NPP. Three reactors suffered an outage. This is a state close to a crisis. Last time something like this happened in 2000. Only two out of six reactors are working at the Zaporizhzhya NPP. This is unprecedented!!! It is the result of the inactivity of the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry and Justice Minister’s greed. When workers have to find out about corporatization while watching TV, its just plain wrong.

There has to be a public process with international experts involved. The substitution of nuclear energy with thermal one blatantly reeks of corrupt schemes. If we have to file a motion against Groysman, we will. If we have to file a motion against the President, we sure will. We will not let them sweep this under the rug. Each mistake and miscalculation has a specific name behind it ,” Andrii Derkach said. “We strongly oppose the politicization of nuclear energy. We don’t want different political forces to participate in the divide of nuclear industry. We’ve got our work cut out for us. We are prepared to assist both the acting leadership of “Energoatom” and the Cabinet. Unresolved nuclear energy issues are a national problem, which is impossible to solve without participation of the government and other public agencies. Are current leaders able to work in a complex manner? I doubt it. But we will try to teach them a “new way” of living ”.

In his turn, Member of Parliament Andrii Artemenko stated the following: “ Ukraine’s nuclear complex is a time bomb. The question is not whether it blows up, the question is when. The industry has been turned into a pocket used to pull out tens of billions of Hryvna. It is a simple fact that the tariff does not provide the funds for repairs of nuclear reactors. And where are we forced to export spent fuel? To Russia. Has any President of Ukraine ever raised this question? No.

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Andrii Artemenko

We have addressed Groysman, Nasalyk, Kistion. We laid down all these facts and drew up a plan to resolve this situation. The government has a chance to understand what exactly is going on in nuclear energy, as well as to stop corruption. They have to reform administration in order to increase the levels of energy production. The main purpose of this press conference is to make sure the society knows about these issues. We cannot let another Chernobyl happen ”.

According to Mikhail Umanets , former Director of the Chernobyl NPP (1987 – 1992), former Head of the State Nuclear Energy Committee, the current system of administration of nuclear power plants prevent efficient control of the process.

There is an impenetrable brick wall of unprofessionalism between the authority – the government, the President, his team – and the nuclear workers. Now there is a confectioner in charge of these matters, or whatever, and he can’t distinguish a nuclear facility from a power socket.

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Mikhail Umanets

They say there has never been an energy market in Ukraine. That’s a lie. There is a dictatorship of the National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission currently in place. It sets the tariff and distributes the money as it pleases. At the moment, energy market owes the NNEGC 11 billion Hryvna!!! Nuclear workers cannot fight this dictatorship. There are no funds in the tariff for plant life extension, nor for continuous safety improvement, for disposing of spent fuel… That’s what we are leaving for future generations.

This doesn’t happen in any other country with nuclear power plants. Our reactors were built in 1975 – 1985. Their lifetime is 30 years. It was extended for 10 more years. Four more reactors still need life extension. It costs approximately $600 million per two reactors. If we don’t, nuclear energy will begin decaying starting with 2018. This is much more terrifying than all those problems in Donbas and Crimea! Salvation needs to start with the change of administration system. We need a first Vice Prime Minister and a Minister on this matter. We need to establish a state committee, to employ specialists, to break down the wall of unprofessionalism” , Mikhail Umanets emphasized.

The text of statements of Members of Parliament: