Wednesday, February 18, 2009

President holds meeting on nuclear energy

Within the framework of his working visit to Khmelnytskiy region, at Khmelnytskiy NPP President Victor Yushchenko held an expanded meeting on nuclear energy development.

Speaking at the meeting President Yushchenko said that nuclear energy is one of the most important constituents on Ukraine’s energy security. He reminded that currently Ukraine has 15 working power units at 4 nuclear power plants generating about 47 percent of the produced electricity.

Therefore, President Yushchenko said, the problems, which have accumulated in the branch during last few years, require effective measures. He pointed to need to construct new units, increasing overall productive capacity of Ukrainian nuclear power plants and developing power lines infrastructure to bring the electricity to consumers.

As separate problem in the sector President named dependency on Russian side, inherited from USSR, in purchases of nuclear fuel and removal of radioactive waste. He noted that our country has large uranium and zirconium deposits of its own which can provide proper resources for nuclear fuel cycle provided enough financing of national enterprises.

Beside that Victor Yushchenko touched upon the subject of radioactive waste management, saying that most of other countries turn to preserving the waste until its re-use is possible. According to the President Ukraine should also consider such long-term management of waste.

President Yushchenko also said that he opposes the wish of the Government to privatize ‘Energoatom’, expressing opinion that it would be a “big mistake”.