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Environmentalists ask Europe to not finance nuclear projects in Ukraine

05.04.2011    source: www.dw-world.de

 

Ukrainian environmentalists believe that European banks should not finance the development of nuclear energy in Ukraine, but instead direct investment at energy saving and energy renewal projects.

Ukraine is undertaking several projects together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development which are given a negative assessment by environmental NGOs. This is, for example, the project aimed at building high-voltage energy transmission cables which will make it possible to export nuclear energy to Europe.  The construction of the 750 kV southern transmission line “Kakhovska – Prymorska – Dnistrovska Hydro-Accumulating Power Stations [HAPS] – Khmelnytsky Nuclear Power Station is represented by NPC UkrEnergo.  The EBRD is expected to join this.

The National Ecological Centre of Ukraine ]NECU] believe that European banks should not support a nuclear future for Ukraine. “This construction will lead to Ukraine becoming a nuclear energy supplement for Europe. The problem of burying and utilizing radioactive waste in the country has not yet been resolved and the funding from the export of electricity will never be enough to cover these expenses”, Olena Miskun from NECU says.

Dubious investments

For the moment the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has not joined this project, however the likelihood, according to Ms Miskun, is high since the main thrust of cooperation with Ukraine lies specifically in the energy field. At the same time the Bank should maintain the EU stand on developing renewable energy and energy-saving projects. It is this, NECU stresses, that Ukraine needs at present, and not the construction of new nuclear reactors or the continuation of the work of the old ones.

Ukraine’s Energy Strategy which the environmentalists also criticized envisages the construction of 22 new nuclear reactors and exploitation of 11 old plants. At present the EBRD is allocating millions of Euros for various projects linked with functioning nuclear stations in Ukraine. The Bank calls such projects “improvement of the level of protection of nuclear power stations”, however Olena Miskun notes that this is understood in Ukraine as continuation of the functioning of ever-older nuclear plants.

Halyna Stadnyk

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