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Completion of Khmelnitska 3 & 4 too expensive gamble

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
Arthur Denysenko, National Ecological Centre of Ukraine.

On April 21, 2010, the Government of Ukraine approved the Credit Facility Agreement with Russia for completion of two units at Khmelnytska nuclear power plant. However, the prospects for expanding nuclear power capacity of Ukraine resemble rather a gamble than strategic investment in Ukrainian energy infrastructure. The National Ecological Centre of Ukraine considers the government’s plans to be unrealistic.

Atomstroyexport JSC (Russia), the company that won the tender for the construction of Unit 3/Unit 4 at Khmelnytska nuclear power plant and chief design engineer of nuclear reactors abroad has production limitations and is already burdened with international commitments that adds greater skepticism to the plans to complete construction of  Khmelnytska 3 & 4 by 2016. Moreover, there is not a single operating VVER-1000 (V-392B) reactor in the world, which is planned to be built at Khmelnytska nuclear power plant, only Russia is planning its construction, but that work is not currently running. Availability of half-built facilities at Khmelnytska nuclear power plant will only make it technically more difficult to make any modifications to the unit design and tighten the project.

As the situation with the construction of nuclear reactors in Belene (Bulgaria) shows, it is very difficult to find financial resources for such projects, the leading international financial organizations are not willing to provide funds for that type of construction due to significant, largely financial, risks. At present, Ukraine has no own funds to self-finance completing of Khmelnytska 3 & 4. Statements that Russia is going to provide a loan for completion of the reactors is doubtful, because the same statements were heard regarding the construction of reactors in Bulgaria, but the project has not yet been implemented.

“There is already an excess of installed capacity in Ukraine and no expected growth of electricity consumption is occurring. Thus, in late February, that is at the peak of power consumption, 5 out of 15 operating nuclear units did not supply electricity into the grid for a variety of reasons”, - says Arthur Denysenko, Energy Coordinator for National

Ecological Centre of Ukraine.  “Ukraine should focus its efforts on increase of energy efficiency of our economy”

Source and contact: Arthur Denysenko, National Ecological Centre of Ukraine.
Tel: +380 44 3537841
Email: arthur.denisenko[at]