Ministry of Energy declared a danger zone
On 26 April, the 22nd anniversary of the Chernobyl Disaster, activists from the National Ecological Centre [NECU] cordoned off a “danger zone” around the Ministry of Fuel and Energy to warn Ukrainians about the danger of a repeat of the catastrophe due to the governments energy policy. 22 years on, the environmentalists warn, lessons from Chernobyl have not been learned.
They are convinced that continuing the work of old and building new nuclear reactors, development of new uranium mines and the accumulation of radioactive waste pose a threat to the public and the environment. Wearing protective clothing and respirators they asked passers-by to support their initiative and sign an appeal to the President calling for a review of Ukraines energy strategy.
“The consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant are massive and we are far from having finally eliminated them”, Dmytro Khmara, Coordinator of the NECU] warns. “Yet we are concerned that they are again suggesting that we go along the risky path of development of nuclear energy and are already spending vast amounts of money on this”.
He stresses that Ukrainians can only hope for energy security by reducing consumption of energy and points out that Ukraine is extremely wasteful of energy. He says that the world is no longer relying on nuclear energy and that alternative sources of energy have become the most attractive form of investment in recent years.
The Ukrainian government is planning to:
- continue running functioning nuclear reactions whose period of exploitation ends during the decade for another thirty years;
- finish construction of another 14 new reactions by 2030
- build a storage contained for used nuclear waste within the Chernobyl zone;
- expand mining of uranium ore;
- develop production of fuel elements