Decision on building Khmelnytska Nuclear Power Plant 3,4 cannot be final – environmentalists

Environmental CSOs are strongly criticizing the Law of Ukraine “On the Design and Construction of the Units 3 and 4 at Khmelnytska Nuclear Power Plant “(hereinafter KhNPP 3, 4). Among the main challenges of the project, they specify the increasing of energy dependence on Russia, the direct negative environmental effects, violation of national legislation and international environmental treaties. Representatives of CSOs “Ecoclub” (Rivne) and National Ecological Centre of Ukraine informed about these and other problems which are associated with the implementation of the KhNPP 3, 4 project during the “Information Fair – 2013 in the Parliament of Ukraine” on March 5-6, 2013
During the fair environmentalists shared the results of their own research of the project about completion of Khmelnytska NPP. Thus, the Policy Paper “Construction of Units 3 and 4 of Khmelnytska NPP: The Role of the Parliament of Ukraine” proved that the negative effects of the KhNPP 3, 4 project may cause new barriers to economic development, slowing down the realization of policy on energy efficiency and the direct threat of a new disaster. Considerable costs for building new reactors today will result in an additional burden for electricity consumers.

“Construction of new nuclear power units at Khmelnytska NPP was officially justified: it is achieving energy independence and security of Ukraine, – said Andriy Martynyuk, the Head of the Board of “Ecoclub”. – However, one could argue that the result is exactly the opposite, and in addition to Russian gas “needle” we will get nuclear dependence. Out of the nearly 40 billion of UAH of the estimated cost of the project, 85% is planned to get as a loan from our northern neighbor under the state guarantees of Ukraine. Moreover, a significant part of the money will be spent on the purchase of Russian equipment, and new nuclear power units will consume only Russian nuclear fuel according to the Cooperation Agreement”.

“Tracking the decision-making process of location KhNPP 3, 4, we paid attention to the fact that the corresponding territories’ opinion on such location was ignored. 6 out of 10 decisions made by local authorities to approve a location of new nuclear power units were adopted on terms of including public proposals to the Law of Ukraine on KhNPP 3, 4. These proposals were not taken into account, which violates the right of local communities to local government”. – says Oksana Maiboroda, the legal counsel of “Ecoclub”.

“It is unclear what logic guided by the Parliament, when 10% of cost of the Spent nuclear fuel storage was allocated for social-economic development of the region (Chernobyl zone), while only 0.3% (UAH 100 millon) was allocated for KhNPP region, – said Arthur Denisenko, energy program coordinator of the National Ecological Center of Ukraine. – In the result, region lost more than 3 billion UAH.
Among other problems with the building of new nuclear power units, environmentalists have mentioned violations of national building regulations that directly require to consider alternative projects in designing NPPs. Also, within a technical and economical construction of KhNPP 3, 4 it is planned to use existing building constructions on the sites of planned units. However, they were designed in accordance to a different type of reactors, they were built 25 years ago, and were not preserved so were significantly affected by the atmosphere and water. An independent regulator – the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate – has not approved the use of these sites for the building of the designed power units yet.

Due to the outlined problems environmentalists do not recognize the possibility of KhNPP 3, 4 project implementation in its current form. The Policy Paper “Construction of Units 3 and 4 of Khmelnytska NPP: The Role of the Parliament of Ukraine”, given to members of the Parliament of a new convocation, analyzes the existing problems as well as it proposes a number of options to avoid possible negative impacts associated with the construction of KhNPP 3, 4. However, it still cannot eliminate all economic and environmental risks. Optimal solution according to environmental SCOs is the abandonment of the idea of ​​building new nuclear power units and directing efforts towards energy efficiency measures.

For more information, please contact:

Andriy Martynyuk, the head of the CSO “Ecoclub” (Rivne), martynyuk@ecoclubrivne.org, +380362267891;

Arthur Denisenko, Energy program coordinator of the National Ecological Center of Ukraine, arthur.denisenko@necu.org.ua, +380443537841;

Oksana Maiboroda, legal counsel of the CSO “Ecoclub” (Rivne), oksana@ecoclubrivne.org, +380673636226

Note:

1. January 12, 2011 the Parliament of Ukraine adopted the Law of Ukraine “On Ratification of the Agreement between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Russian Federation on cooperation in the construction of nuclear power units 3 and 4 of Khmelnytska NPP”. Under this Agreement, the Parties shall cooperate in the design, construction and commission of nuclear power units 3 and 4 of Khmelnytska NPP considering the use of existing constructions with VVER-1000 reactors of B-392 project. The government of the Russian Federation will provide a loan, amount, terms and procedure of which will be determined in a separate Loan Agreement.
2. Decision № 25 – 26/2013 of Slavuta city council on January 25, 2013 “On appeal of deputies of Slavuta city council to Khmelnytsk regional council to ensure the rights of inhabitants of the monitoring zone to socio-economic compensation for risk while building nuclear power units 3 and 4 of Khmelnytska NPP” : http://www.slavuta-mvk.info/syte/text/rishenya/files/0/390.doc.
3. Information of “Energoatom” National Nuclear Energy Generating Company about the results of public hearings on location of nuclear power units 3 and 4 of Khmelnytska NPP: http://www.energoatom.kiev.ua/atachs/RGS.rar.
4. The Policy Paper “Construction of Units 3 and 4 of Khmelnytska NPP: The Role of the Parliament of Ukraine”: https://www.ecoclubrivne.org/files/XAEC3,4.pdf. Previously each Member of the Parliament of Ukraine was sent a copy of this Policy Paper.

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