Publication note: 

Ukraine in Conflict of National Identity,  FPK, Vol. 6, No. 5 (2022 June 6), 28 pages.

Introduction: With the beginning of the Ukraine war on 24.2.2022, for the first time in the history of modern warfare, a nuclear power plant (NPP) is at the centre of military confrontations. On the very first day, the Russian military occupied the ruined Chernobyl NPP in northern Ukraine, and a few days later the Zaporizhzhya NPP in the south, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Since July 2022, Ukrainian military units have been trying to retake Zaporizhzhya by force. Meanwhile, the NPP has been under continuous shelling, even during the visit of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In its report to the UN Security Council, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said: „We are playing with fire, and something catastrophic could happen.“ (digitallibrary.un.org, 7.9.2022: 3) The external power supply to the NPP for cooling the reactors and spent fuel rods is particularly critical. As a result of the military clashes, Kiev has temporarily cut off the power. Therefore, the IAEA proposes a demilitarisation of the area around the NPP.

But Grossi did not comment on the accusations made by the two warring parties. The public therefore still has no reliable source to verify Russia’s serious accusations. According to these, Kiev, like Iran, would take advantage of the peaceful use of nuclear energy to build a nuclear bomb. But this is not the only taboo topic in the current war coverage. Nuclear safety in Ukraine is also threatened by the fact that thousands of sites containing nuclear material are not sufficiently monitored (science.org, 25.3.2022). Moreover, with financial support from Western Europe, the world’s largest repository for radioactive waste is being built in the prohibited zone around the contaminated Chernobyl NPP (on the border with Belarus and Russia; stimson.org, 23.3.2022). Finally, the public is hardly aware that about 60 km northwest of the Zaporizhzhya NPP lies the largest radioactively contaminated area in the world, the closed Prydniprovsky Chemical Plant (PCP). There, 15 times as much nuclear waste is stored as in the ruins of the Chernobyl NPP, partly in the open air …

Dieses TOPIC IN FOCUS 4/2022 provides background knowledge on the Zaporizhzhya NPP in the form of literature references with short summaries and translated quotations, especially for Ukrainian and Russian sources. The information is completed in such a way that readers can check and use this foreign-language information themselves using browsers with translation programmes. Apart from a few comments on contextual understanding, this documentation abstains from its own analyses. These can be found in other TOPICS IN FOCUS (cf. 3 and 3/2022) and publications (FPK online, issues 5 and 8). 

Despite striving for objectivity, the selection of sources reflects the author’s subjective approach: with this focus topic, she wants to raise awareness about the risks of a reactor accident and thus contribute to ending the war. She does not follow any outside interests or commissioned research, but feels obliged to humanist values: Respect for human dignity, tolerance towards others, protection of livelihoods and a commitment to non-violence. These values were expressed by the Australian artist Peter Seaton in his mural „Peace before Peaces“ (see right). Scientists can explain this. 

The source material has been collected since the beginning of September 2022. It is divided into four major topics: First, there is a report on the current situation at the NPP. This is followed by historical background up to the beginning of the Ukraine war on 24.2.2022. The third section looks at Kiev’s nuclear policy with the consequences and risks known so far. Finally, a last section provides information on Ukraine’s energy policy, which does not show any signs of a turnaround, but continues on the chosen course. The different sections include information and links to various sources, press reports, official documents of international organisations as well as research publications

Peter Seaton: PEACE BEFORE PIECES (2022)

Source: Mural by Peter Seaton, artist from Melbourne, Australia: Peace before pieces [2022] by CTO, CTOart, Sydney, 3.9.2022. Peace before pieces [2022] by CTO, CTOart, Sydney, 3.9.2022. The painting shows the embrace of a Russian (left) and Ukrainian soldier (right).

NEWS

▪THE SITUATION AT THE ZAPORIZHZHYA NPP (ZNPP) SINCE 24.2.2022

DATUM
Oct 2022

INFORMATIONS (own texts)

SOURCES: „Quotes“ (Translation: S.R.)

24.10.2022

Ukraine’s national nuclear energy company „Energoatom“ denies Russian accusations that Ukraine is preparing to use a „dirty bomb“ containing radioactive material from the Zaporizhzhya NPP. For its part, it accuses the Russian military of carrying out construction work on the site of the Spent Fuel Storage Facility (DSFSF). There, 174 containers are stored, each with 24 spent fuel elements. These could explode and cause a nuclear accident. The Ukrainian NPP staff and the IAEA representatives would not have access to this site.

„For two days already, the representatives of the russian authorities and all hostile propaganda have been claiming that Ukraine is allegedly preparing a “dirty nuclear bomb”, for which, according to the rf, spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste stored at Zaporizhzhzya NPP can be used.

For even greater intimidation of the world, the russians published a fake map of the danger of radiation contamination with the epicenter precisely at ZNPP.“

24.10.2022

The Director General of the IAEA announced that on 24.10.2022 he had received a written request from Ukraine to send teams of inspectors to two Ukrainian NPP sites to investigate the Russian allegations. On 22.10.2022, he was informed by Russia.

„The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is aware of statements made by the Russian Federation on Sunday about alleged activities at two nuclear locations in Ukraine, IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said today.“

22.10.2022

Russia has sent a letter to the UN Security Council urging it to prevent Ukraine from destroying the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam. As Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, explained, a rise of the water level would lead to flooding that would cost thousands of civilians their lives.

Moscow called on the UN Security Council to prevent Kiev’s destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam. [… According to Nebenzia], up to 120 missiles arrive per day, most of which are American HIMARS.

22.10.2022

The G7 states, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the USA and the European Union issued a press statement demanding the return of the Zaporizhzhya NPP to Ukraine. In doing so, they repeated their position of 10.8.2022 without addressing the more recent developments and stopping the escalation.

Other sources documented here allow the conclusion that Ukraine wants to win back the NPP with military force, including American HIMARS missiles. This includes temporarily cutting off the external power supply, which is why Russia also took over the management of the NPP after its 6-month occupation. Also dangerous are the attacks on the nearby Kakhovka dam, which supplies the nuclear power plant with cooling water. The G7 are giving Kiev a blind cheque instead of demanding peace negotiations. In doing so, they share responsibility for a possible nuclear catastrophe. World public opinion has enough evidence to hold the Western states accountable for their military involvement in this war.

„The ZNPP and the electricity it produces belong to Ukraine, and we stress that attempts by Russia to disconnect the plant from the Ukrainian power grid would be unacceptable. We strongly underline that the ZNPP should not be used for military activities or the storage of materiel.“

8.10.2022

Shortly after midnight, three days after the Russian takeover of the Ukrainian NPP Zaporizhzhya, the nuclear facility briefly became a ticking nuclear bomb again: Ukraine’s national nuclear energy company „Energoatom“ and the Director General of the IAEA report that the external power connection to the nuclear power plant has been interrupted (sources on the right). The diesel generators for self-sufficiency had started automatically. But this emergency power supply will only work for 10 days.

The Ukrainian company „Energoatom“ blames Russia for this and for the threat of reactor meltdown. The report makes this clear with an expressive picture:

„Last night at 00:59, due to another shelling by Russian troops, the last connection line to the 750 kV power grid ZNPP-Dniprovska was damaged and shut down.

As a result, the Zaporizhzhya NPP was completely disconnected from the grid. The diesel generators were switched on in automatic mode. The available diesel fuel reserves for operation in this mode will last for 10 days.“

8.10.2022

The Russian media portal RIA Novosti presents the situation differently, according to information from the Russian Defence Ministry. Russia accuses Kiev of firing a total of 15 missiles:

 

„The Kiev regime shelled Enerhodar and the area adjacent to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant twice during the day. A total of 15 missiles were fired, Russian artillery suppressed enemy fire with return fire, the radiation situation at the ZNPP was normal, the Russian Defence Ministry said on Saturday.“

5.10.2022

The Director General of the IAEA informed that Russia wanted to take over the operation of the NPP. He repeated his proposal to establish an international protection zone around the NPP site. The report goes on to say that Russia is planning to restart unit 5 in order to be able to supply the plant with electricity again:

„Separately today, IAEA experts at the site learnt that the ZNPP plans to restart one of its six reactors which are currently all in cold shutdown. Senior Ukrainian operating staff informed IAEA experts present at the ZNPP that preparations are under way to start unit 5 at reduced power to produce steam and heat for the needs of the plant.“

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Update 112 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine, Vienna, 5.10.2022, www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/update-112-iaea-director-general-statement-on-situation-in-ukraine .

5.10.2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin published a decree according to which the Zaporizhzhya NPP is to become Russian property. For this purpose, Rosenergoatom will be founded as a joint-stock company, a sub-organisation of the Russian state corporation Rosatom. All current employees of the nuclear power plant will be taken over.

ЗАЭС перейдет в собственность России [ZNPP to be handed over to Russia], Moscow, ria.ru/20221005/zaes-1821776300.html; Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 05.10.2022 № 711, publication.pravo.gov.ru/Document/View/0001202210050022. 

5.10.2022

The president of the National nuclear energy company „Energoatom“, Petro Kotin, addresses the employees of the Zaporizhzhya NPP, announcing that he has taken over the management of the plant:

„I appeal to you not only as the President of Energoatom. In accordance with the applicable laws, permits and regulations, I have decided to take over the duties of the General Director of the Zaporizhzhia NPP. The administration of the station has been transferred to Kiev since the abduction of ZNPP Director General Ihor Murashov. All further decisions on the operation of the station will be taken directly at the headquarters of NNEGC Energoatom.“

Енергоатом, Звернення президента ДП «НАЕК «Енергоатом», в.о. генерального директора Запорізької АЕС Петра Котіна до працівників ЗАЕС [Energoatom, Address of the President of SE NNEGC „Energoatom“, the Acting General Director of Zaporizhzhya NPP Petro Kotin to the employees of ZNPP], Kiev, 5.10.2022, www.energoatom.com.ua/o-0510222.html.

3.10.2022

The Austrian newspaper Salzburg 24 reports that the Russian Duma has passed legislation to annex the four Ukrainian territories, including the Zaporizhzhya region, in a fast-track procedure without any dissenting votes. The article states: 

What do the integration laws regulate?

The laws are intended to regulate issues such as property, citizenship and the new organs of power in Kherson, Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhya regions. Russian citizenship is to be granted to all residents of the regions who apply for a passport and take an oath to the country’s constitution. A transitional period until 2026 is planned until the laws are fully implemented.

This is accompanied by the promise of pension payments and health care. The rouble will be introduced as the currency, but until the end of the year residents there can still pay in parallel with Ukrainian hryvnias. By 1 June 2023, the new administrative bodies are to be created in the regions.“

Duma ratifiziert Annexion ukrainischer Gebiete
Gesetze zur Integration in Eilverfahren verabschiedet, Salzburg, 3.20.2022, www.salzburg24.at/news/welt/duma-ratifiziert-annexion-ukrainischer-gebiete-127865671.

1.10.2022

The Director General of the IAEA expressed concern about a continuing increase in landmine explosions on the outskirts of the NPP, „which is controlled by Russian forces but operated by its Ukrainian staff“. He also expressed concern about the detention of Ihor Murashov, general director of the Zaporizhzhya NPP (ZNPP). His report states: 

„Furthermore, the Director General of the ZNPP has the responsibility to ensure the nuclear safety and security of the plant. He ensures that all the plant’s operational procedures are implemented, including the ones related to nuclear safety, radiation safety of operating personnel, and to nuclear security. Additionally, he activates and leads the response to any on-site nuclear emergency.“ 

Energoatom announced that the head of the Zaporizhzhya NPP, Ihor Murashov, was released on 3 October. He is in an external crisis centre of the NPP, which is controlled by Ukraine.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Update 110 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine, Vienna, 1.10.2022, www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/update-110-iaea-director-general-statement-on-situation-in-ukraine.

Energoatom, 3.10.2022, www.energoatom.com.ua/app-eng/news-links.html.

30.9.2022

On the same day that the four Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhya and the Russian Federation signed the accession treaty in Moscow, the USA and Albania submitted a resolution to the 15-member UN Security Council condemning the Russian annexation of Ukrainian territories. It failed because of Russia’s veto. Four other states, China, Brazil, India and Gabon abstained. The three permanent members of the UN Security Council, the USA, the United Kingdom and France, as well as the non-permanent members Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, Albania, Ghana and the United Arab Emirates voted in favour.

On the same day, the Russian energy company Gazprom reported that there had been explosions at the two gas pipelines Nord Stream 1 and 2 in the North Sea. The cause of the supposed sabotage is still unknown. The Ukrainian energy company Energoatom announced that the head of the Zaporizhzhya NPP, Ihor Murashov, had been arrested (see above, 1.10.2022).

United Nations, Russia vetoes Security Council resolution condemning attempted annexation of Ukraine regions, UN News, New York, 30.9.2022,  news.un.org/en/story/2022/09/1129102.

Gazprom says 800 million cubic metres of gas escaped from pipelines, Tass reports, reuters, 30.9.2022, www.reuters.com/business/energy/gazprom-says-800-million-cubic-metres-gas-escaped-pipelines-tass-2022-09-30/.

28.9.2022

The Russian media portal Zaporozhye reports on the latest developments in the Russian-dominated administration of the Zaporozhye region, with the head of the electoral commission Galina Katyushchenko announcing that 85.4 of those eligible to vote had taken part in the „referendum on the reunification of the Zaporozhye region and the Russian Federation„, of which 93.11 per cent had voted „yes“. 

In addition, the media portal reported the same day on the proposal of Vladimir Rogov, a member of the (Russian-dominated) Zaporizhzhya Region State Administration: „The Zaporizhzhya NPP should become the property of Russia as soon as possible after the region joins the Russian Federation, no separate statuses and subordinations of the nuclear power plant are required […].“

ZOV Запорожье [ZOV Zaporozhye], Zaporizhzhya, 28.9.2022:

Итоги голосования на референдуме о воссоединении Запорожской области и Российской Федерации [Results of voting in the referendum on the reunification of zaporizhzhya region and the Russian Federation], zp-news.ru/society/2022/09/28/39189.html;

Власти Запорожской области: ЗАЭС должна перейти в собственность России [Authorities of Zaporizhzhya region: ZNPP should become the property of Russia], zp-news.ru/society/2022/09/28/39201.html.

27.9.2022

In his report on the situation at the Zaporizhzhya NPP, the Director General of the IAEA confirms renewed shelling of the nuclear facility after a few days of calm. The IAEA staff stationed there informed him of explosions on the NPP site on 26 and 27 September 2022, as a result of which the windows of a turbine hall were broken. According to Rafael Grossi, the dangerous situation can only be eased by establishing a military protection zone. He hopes to achieve this goal soon through diplomatic negotiations with Ukraine and Russia. The report states:

„IAEA experts present at the ZNPP reported to Agency headquarters that shelling took place at around 5 pm local time yesterday near the facility’s electrical switchyard, a few hundred meters from the plant’s training centre, but there were no reports of damage. Other explosions were heard further away.

Today at 8 am, two explosions occurred near a channel that carries water from a reservoir to the plant for its cooling system, an essential element for nuclear safety. There was no damage to plant structures and equipment, but windows in the turbine hall of reactor unit 2 were broken, the IAEA experts said. According to senior ZNPP operating staff, the cause of the blasts is currently unclear and is being investigated, the Agency experts added.“

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Update 106 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine, Vienna, 27.9.2022, www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/update-106-iaea-director-general-statement-on-situation-in-ukraine.

21.9.2022

Citing Energoatom the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine reports that on the night of 21.9.2022, Russian military again shelled the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP):

„As a result, the communication equipment of power unit No. 6 with the open switchgear of ZNPP was damaged. The block transformer and transformers of the power unit’s own needs were turned off. Due to the loss of power, two diesel generators of safety systems were emergency launched to ensure the operation of cooling pumps for nuclear fuel. […]

It should be noted that currently two IAEA inspectors are on a permanent basis at ZNPP. However, the Russian military, ignoring this fact, continues shelling ZNPP. The Russian occupiers demonstrate outright disregard for international institutions and international norms and rules.

Державна інспекція ядерного регулювання України, Не зважаючи на присутність інспекторів МАГАТЕ на ЗАЕС, росія продовжує ядерний тероризм [State Nuklear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine, Despite the presence of IAEA inspectors at ZNPP, Russia continues nuclear terrorism], Kiev, 21.9.2022, snriu.gov.ua/news/ne-zvazhayuchi-na-prisutnist-inspektoriv-magate-na-zaes-rosiya-prodovzhuye-yadernij-terorizm.

20.9.2022

As the Russian media portal RIA Novosti (РИА Новости) reports, the administrative head of the Zaporizhzhya region, Yevgeny Balitsky, has issued a directive. According to it, a referendum on joining the Russian Federation will be held in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian region of Zaporizhzhya between 23 and 27 September 2022. In a video message, he said, according to this source:

“ ‚There are all conditions for every resident of the Zaporizhzhya region to express his opinion, to give his vote for our common future. And this is very important, since the absolute majority of residents of our region want to take part in the referendum on determining the status of our native land. This is confirmed by numerous data from public opinion polls. This is the will of the residents of the Zaporizhzhya region, and no one has the right to prevent us from exercising our right to self-determination,‘ Balitsky said in a video message posted on his Telegram channel.“

Note: At the same time, corresponding referendums will be held in three other Russian-occupied Ukrainian regions: Donetsk, Lugansk (northeast of Zaporizhzhya region) and Cherzon region (southwest of it). An annexation of these regions to Russia (similar to Crimea in 2014) would change the military situation insofar as Moscow could interpret attacks on these regions and thus also on the Zaporizhzhya NPP as an aggression against Russia and react accordingly (cf. articles on this in the same media portal, including: ria.ru/20220920/agressiya-1818278024.html?in=t). he IAEA’s proposal to demilitarise the area around the Zaporizhzhya NPP would be almost impossible to implement.

РИА Новости, Балицкий: большинство жителей Запорожья хотят проголосовать на референдуме [RIA Novosti, Balitsky: the majority of Zaporozhye residents want to vote in a referendum], Moscow, 20.9.2022, ria.ru/20220920/referendum-1818206503.html.

20.9.2022

The Russian media portal RIA Novosti (РИА Новости) reports on damage to infrastructure at the NPP site by Ukrainian military, including the cooling system. Citing the press service of the Enerhodar administration, it says: 

„Among other things, the cooling system was damaged. It is specified that the shelling was carried out with the use of high-explosive fragmentation shells. […] The administration also stressed that the indiscriminate attacks of the AFU [Armed Forces of Ukraine] on the power plant are a real confirmation that Kiev is pursuing a policy of nuclear terrorism against the background of its own impotence.“

РИА Новости, Обстрел ЗАЭС со стороны ВСУ привел к повреждению системы охлаждения [RIA Novosti, ZNPP shelling by AFU caused damage to cooling system], Simferopol, 20.9.2022, ria.ru/20220920/zaes-1818253081.html.

19.9.2022

The Director General of the IAEA passed on the information from Energoatom about the shelling of the Southern Ukraine nuclear power plant (SUNPP, ukr. PAES) to the world public (see below). 

In contrast, the situation at the Zaporizhzhya NPP (ZNPP) remains tense. The power supply from the nearby thermal power plant was switched off for reasons that are still unclear. The IAEA report states:

„The ZNPP – whose six reactors are currently in a cold shutdown state – still receives the electricity it needs for essential safety functions from a 750 KV external power line that was restored on Friday, but it now does not have access to back-up power from the grid, the IAEA experts said.“ 

In conclusion, Director General Grossi is quoted as saying: „Any military action that threatens nuclear safety and security is unacceptable and must stop immediately.“

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Update 104 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine, Vienna, 19.9.2022, www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/update-104-iaea-director-general-statement-on-situation-in-ukraine.

19.9.2022

The National Nuclear Energy Generating Company „Energoatom“ reports missile attacks on the Southern Ukraine NPP (SUNPP, located about 250 km, northwest of the Zaporizhzhya NPP (ZNPP): 

„Today, September 19, 2022, at 00:20 am, the russian army carried out a missile attack on the industrial site of the South Ukraine nuclear power plant [SUPNN or ukr. PAES]

A powerful explosion occurred just 300 m from the SUNPP reactors. The shock wave damaged the NPP buildings as well as over 100 windows were broken. One of the hydropower units of the Oleksandrivska HPP, which is part of the South Ukrainian power complex, has shut down. Three high-voltage power lines were down as well. […] Acts of nuclear terrorism committed by the russian military [Ukrainian text reads: „by the Russian fascists, see note, S.R. ] threaten the whole world. They should be stopped immediately to prevent a new disaster!“ 

Note on the Ukrainian expression „Рашистські терористи – Rashist terrorists„: The adjective „raschist“ as well as the noun „Raschist“ (cf. in the article from gordonua.com, 25.8.2022) are Ukrainian neologisms. The English edition of the article cited above translates „raschist“ as „Russian“ and does not reflect the linguistic nuances. The adjective is the shortened variant of the expression „російські фашистські – Russian-fascist“. It first appeared to describe the Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. In the Russian-speaking public there, Ukrainian soldiers are accordingly referred to as „Ukrainian fascists – украинские фашисты“, cf.  tass.ru, 10.9.2022.

Енергоатом, Рашистські терористи обстріляли Південноукраїнську АЕС – ракета впала за 300 метрів від ядерних реакторів [Energoatom, Racist terrorists fired at the southern Ukrainian nuclear power plant – the missile fell 300 metres from the nuclear reactorst], Kiev, 19.9.2022, www.energoatom.com.ua/o-1909221.html.

The English version is entitled: Russian terrorists shelled South Ukraine NPP – missile landed 300 meters away from nuclear reactors, www.energoatom.com.ua/app-eng/eng-1909221.html, see the note on the left.

26.8.2022

The picture above was sent by the UN-representative of the Russian Federation, Vassily Nebenzia as attachment to his letter to the UN Security Council. In it, he reported new damage to the NPP caused by Ukrainian military shellfire. One shell had damaged pipes carrying cooling water between units 2 and 3. Other impacts had occurred at the guardhouse, the welding facility and near the oxygen-nitrogen station. Communication lines were damaged, as was the storage facility for fresh nuclear fuel. 

United Nations, General Assembly Security Council,  A/76/933-S/2022/648, Letter dated 26 August 2022 from the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council, digitallibrary.un.org/record/3986839?ln=en.

1.3.2022

Four days after the start of the Ukraine war on 24.2.2022, Russia informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna that it had taken military control over the area of the Zaporizhzhya NPP. However, the NPP itself remains under Ukraine’s supervision (until the annexation of the region on 3.10.2022): 

„Earlier on 1 March, Ukraine informed the IAEA that all its nuclear power plants remained under the control of the national operator. In an update this morning, the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) said it maintained communications with the country’s nuclear facilities and that the NPPs continued to operate normally.“

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Update 6 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine, Wien, 2.3.2022, www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/update-6-iaea-director-general-statement-on-situation-in-ukraine.

24.2.2022

On the day the Ukraine war began (24.2.2022), the Zaporizhzhya regional council announced that all six reactors at the Zaporizhzhya NPP were online. The operating times of units 1-5 from the 1980s were extended after stress tests (see below on the history of the NPP).

„The Zaporizhzhia NPP operates normally
As of 9:30 a.m. on February 24, 2022, the Zaporizhzhia NPP is operating normally. At the moment, all 6 power units of Zaporizhzhya NPP are in operation. The total capacity of the generators is 5,170 MW,‘ said the Acting General Director of Zaporizhzhya NPP Ihor Murashov.

Zaporizhzhia Regional Council, The Zaporizhzhia NPP operates normally, Zaporizhzhya, 24.2.2022, zor.gov.ua/content/zaporizka-aes-pracyuye-u-shtatnomu-rezhymi.

23.2.2022

One day before the start of the Russian invasion on 24.2.2022, the Ukrainian president declared a state of emergency in some regions, including Zaporizhzhya, under the direction of the military and the Interior Ministry. The official statement of the Zaporizhzhya Regional Council said:

Offizielle Erklärung zur Einführung des Ausnahmezustands in der Region Saporischschja

Ab heute wird in der Region Saporischschja unter dem Vorsitz des Leiters der regionalen Staatsverwaltung von Saporischschja, Oleksandr Starukh und unter Beteiligung der Vorsitzenden des Regionalrats von Saporischschja, Olena Zhuk, ein operatives Hauptquartier betrieben. Es bestand aus Vertretern des Militärs, Organen des Innenministeriums, Bürgermeistern und Leitern lokaler Regierungen.

Die Lage in der Region ist unter Kontrolle. Die Bewohner der Region Saporoschje stehen unter dem Schutz des Staates, der ukrainischen Armee und der territorialen Verteidigungseinheiten.

Das Dekret des Präsidenten der Ukraine „Über die Einführung des Ausnahmezustands in bestimmten Regionen der Ukraine“, das von der Werchowna Rada der Ukraine genehmigt wurde, sieht Folgendes vor:“

In summary, among other things: Restrictions on entry and exit, prohibition of mass meetings and strikes, restrictions including the banning of political parties, curfews, house searches and control over the mass media.

Zaporizhzhia Regional Council, Official statement regarding the introduction of a state of emergency in the Zaporizhzhia region, Zaporizhzhya, 23.2.2022, zor.gov.ua/content/oficiyna-zayava-shchodo-vvedennya-nadzvychaynoyi-sytuaciyi-v-zaporizkiy-oblasti.

HISTORY OF THE NPP

▪UNTIL THE RUSSIAN OCCUPATION OF THE ZNPP ON 1.3.2022

DATE

INFORMATIONS (own texts with „quotations“, of Ukrainian and Russian sources into English: S.R.)

SOURCES (author, title, URL etc.)

Zaporizhzhya (ukr.  Запоріжжя, russ. Запорожье) is the sixth largest city in Ukraine with 710,000 inhabitants (2022), founded in 1770 under the name Aleksandrovsk / Alexander Fortress, renamed in 1921 (Zaporizhzhya means „beyond the rapids“). Today it is the fourth largest industrial centre in Ukraine.

Zaporizhzhia City Council, Official Website, zp.gov.ua/en;
Запорожье, Wikipedia, 12.8.2022, ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Запорожье 

1977

Decision by the Soviet government (Council of Ministers) to build the Zaporizhzhya NPP (ZNPP), 50 km from the city of the same name. Two years later, construction began on the first of six pressurised water reactors of the type VVER-1000/320 (water-water energy reactor).

Оргэнергострой,  Запорожская АЭС [Orgenergostroy, Zaporizhzhya NPP], Moscow, 2022, ioes.ru/ru/portfolio/18-zaporozhskaya-aes 

1984-1995

During this period, six reactors of the Zaporizhzhya NPP were commissioned, with an operating life of 30 years. According to information from UATOM and the Ukrainian Ministry of Health, reactor units 1-4 will finally go offline 10 years later (as of 2019). They would have passed a stress test after the accident at the Fukushima NPP in Japan (11.3.2011).

Website on nuclear and radiation safety and non-proliferation, Operating NPPs, Kiev 2019,  www.uatom.org/en/general-information.

26.4.1986

The State Specialised Enterprise „Chernobyl NPP“ (SS ChNPP) of Ukraine is now responsible for the Chernobyl nuclear ruin. The website provides detailed information, including the history of the NPP, among other things: After the most recent unit 4 of the Chernobyl NPP exploded and unit 2 was damaged in 1991, Ukraine shut down unit 1 in 1996 and unit 3 in 2000. The construction of two more reactors was already stopped in 1988. The Zaporizhzhya NPP therefore became the most important nuclear plant in Ukraine. 

SSE ChNPP, Chornobyl NPP, History of the ChNPP, 2022, hnpp.gov.ua/en/about/history-of-the-chnpp.

 

1.12.1991

After Ukraine’s state independence, Kiev continued the initial Soviet energy policy of developing nuclear energy. The 1990 moratorium, which had stopped the construction of new reactors as a result of the Chernobyl accident, was lifted:

Since December 1991, the nuclear power plants were under the control of the Ukratomenergoprom corporation, and from January 1993, the „State Nuclear Energy Committee of Ukraine – Derzhkomatom of Ukraine“. After the commissioning of unit 6 of the Zaporizhzhya NPP (1995), it became the largest nuclear power plant in Europe with a capacity of 6 million KW. On 17.10.1996, the national enterprise National Energy Generating Company – “Energoatom” was founded.

Website on nuclear and radiation safety and non-proliferation, Operating NPPs, Kiev 2019,  www.uatom.org/en/general-information.

KIEV'S NUCLEAR POLICY

▪KNOWN IPMACTS AND UND RISIKS OF UKRAINIAN NUCLEAR RESEARCH

DATE

INFORMATIONS (own texts with „quotations“, of Ukrainian and Russian sources into English: S.R.)

SOURCES (author, title, URL etc.)

16.7.1990

The Declaration of Sovereignty of the former Ukrainian Soviet Republic of 16.7.1990, which was implemented one and a half years later (1.12.1991), states:

IX. External and Internal Security: 

„The Ukrainian SSR solemnly proclaims its intention to become in the future a permanently neutral state that does not take part in military blocs and adheres to three non-nuclear principles: not to accept, not to produce and not to acquire nuclear weapons.“

X. International Relations

„The relations of the Ukrainian SSR with other Soviet republics are based on treaties concluded on the principles of equality, mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs.

The Declaration is the basis for the new Constitution, laws of Ukraine and defines the position of the Republic in the conclusion of international agreements. The principles of the Declaration of Sovereignty of Ukraine are used to conclude a union treaty.

Adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR“

MEGET, Информационно-аналитический портал про недвижимость, Декларация о государственном суверенитете Украины от 16 июля 1990 года N55-XII [MEGET, Real estate information and analysis portal, Declaration on State Sovereignty of Ukraine N55-XII of July 16, 1990], Kiev 2022, meget.kiev.ua/deklaratsiya-gosudarstveniy-suverenitet-ukraina/.

16.11.1994

The Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) adopts the Law on the Accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of 1 July 1968. Ukraine thus renounced the possession of all nuclear weapons. On the day of its independence on 1.12.1991, it had risen to become the third largest nuclear power in the world and had an overkill capacity to destroy the entire globe several times over. On its soil were stored 176 strategic and approx. 2500 tactical nuclear missiles of the USSR. With the official renunciation of these weapons, Ukraine implemented announcements from its declaration of sovereignty of 16.7.1990 (see above). The new text of the law emphasises:

2. Ukraine is the owner of nuclear weapons inherited from the former USSR. After dismantling and destroying these weapons under Ukraine’s control and in accordance with procedures that exclude the possibility of reusing the nuclear materials that are components of these weapons for their original purpose, Ukraine intends to use the above-mentioned materials exclusively for peaceful purposes.“

However, Ukraine identifies as item 4 „exceptional circumstances“ that could endanger its interests: Attacks by nuclear powers on its national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the application of economic pressure. Admittedly, the text does not threaten any consequences for such a case, for example the termination of the treaty. However, this clause has become more important since 23 February 2014. While Russia interprets the pro-Western regime change as a breach of the security guarantees, the Western states and Ukraine see the breach of the treaty on the part of Russia through its annexation of Crimea. . 

Верховна Ради України, Про приєднання України до Договору про нерозповсюдження ядерної зброї від 1 липня 1968 року [On Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of July 1, 1968], Kiev, 16.11.1994, zakon.rada.gov.ua/laws/show/248/94-%D0%B2%D1%80#Text.

5.12.1994

On the day of its independence on 1.12.1991, Ukraine became the third largest nuclear power in the world. In accordance with the Declaration of Sovereignty of 16 July 1990 (see above) and the Law on Accession to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (16 November 1994), Kiev signed the Budapest Memorandum. In return for renouncing the possession of nuclear weapons, Ukraine received security guarantees regarding its state sovereignty from Russia, the United Kingdom and the USA:

„Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America,

Welcoming the Accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on Non-Poliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear weapon state, 

Talking into account the commitment of Ukraine to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified period of time,

Nothing the changes in word-wide security situation, including the end of the Cold War, which have brought about conditions for deep recductions in nuclear forces […] .“ 

Budapester Memorandum von 1994, Ukraine, Russian Federation, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America, Memorandum on security assurances in connection with Ukraine’s a ccession to the Treaty. on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Budapest, 5 December 1994, treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%203007/Part/volume-3007-I-52241.pdf

16.3.2011

Ukrainian scientist Volodymyr Tykhyy gave a lecture at the Reactor Research Centre of Kyoto University, Kumatori, Japan. The topic: „Punishing legacy of atomic bomb and nuclear energy projects in Ukraine„. In it, he informs about various measures taken by the Ukrainian government to safely store the radioactive waste and about the health consequences for the population of Ukraine (status: 2011).

One relevant piece of information: Until the beginning of 2011, Ukraine had hardly any capacity of its own to safely store the expired nuclear fuel rods: „Parliament decision needed to construct CSF [Chernobyl Shelter Fund, S.R.]; in the meantime, Ukrainian spent nuclear fuel from 9 VVER units is shipped to Russia. [p. 25]

Further relevant are data on the health consequences: „In all groups of sufferers TC prevalence[disease of thyroid cancer, S.R.] is higher than nationwide average: in liquidators – 5.6 times [approx. 1 million emergency workers to secure the damaged Chernobyl NPP], in evacuated – 4.4 times, in those
who live on contaminated territories – 1.4 times [p. 28].

Volodymyr Tykhyy, Punishing legacy of atomic bomb and nuclear energy projects in Ukraine, Seminar at Kyoto University Research
Reactor Institute, Kumatori, 16.3.2011, www.rri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/NSRG/seminar/No110/20110318tykhyy.pdf.

18.11.2020

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) reports the commissioning of the world’s largest repository for expired nuclear fuel rods. On the restricted area of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant ruins, the Interim Storage Facility 2 (ISF-2) will become operational in early 2021: More than 21,000 spent fuel elements from the shutdown reactors of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant will be safely stored there for at least 100 years. 

„Balthasar Lindauer, EBRD Director, Nuclear Safety, said: ‚This is a momentous achievement that stands testament to the many days, weeks and years that the EBRD, donors, contractors and Ukraine have dedicated to delivering this critical safety project. We have had to overcome many challenges to reach this point, but it is all the more gratifying that we eventually got there.” […] The Interim Storage Facility 2 cost €400 million and was financed with contributions from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.“

Axel Reiserer, Historic milestone at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, News, 18.11.2020, www.ebrd.com/news/2020/historic-milestone-at-chernobyl-nuclear-power-plant.html.

22.9.2021

The Norwegian Bellona Foundation für Umwelt- und Klimaschutz for Environmental and Climate Protection reports on the largest radioactively contaminated area in Europe, the decommissioned Prydniprovsky chemical plant, cf. ukr. Придніпровський хімічний завод (ПХЗ). It is a disused uranium mine on the banks of the Dnipro/Dnepr River in Ukraine near the town of Kamianske, about 60 km northwest of the Zaporizhzhya NPP. Between 1949 and 1991, it had supplied the entire Soviet Union with uranium ore. The factory processed the ore into yellowcake, a powder made of uranium compounds. The contaminated area around the PCP (eng. Prydniprovsky Chemical Plant) covers 2.5 square kilometres, where some 36 million tonnes of radioactive residues are stored in 9 open-air landfills: The author reports:

„It’s called the Pridnieproskvy Chemical Plant and it now houses more than 15 times the amount of radioactive waste to be found within the rubble of Chernobyl’s No 4 reactor, which exploded in 1986.

Much of this waste lies in the open air, wholly unshielded from humans and the environment, or marked off by patches of fencing that gives no warning about what it encloses. In other places at the site, long neglected waste from uranium processing, called uranium tailings, emits toxic gasses and leaks into ground water and waterways.

For the past three decades, the PCP has been only sporadically policed, with Ukrainian government efforts aimed at its cleanup both insufficient and poorly funded. Foreign governments have tried to pitch in, but their financing has been directed at issues that fail to address the problem as a whole.“

The article quotes the office manager of the NGO Bellona in St. Petersburg: „It’s impossible to figure out what has actually been done, what the situation at the PCP is, who is responsible and overseeing the project, and what its prospects are.

Charles Digges, The most dangerous place in Europe is one you have never heard of, Oslo, 22.9.2021, bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2021-09-the-most-dangerous-place-in-ukraine-is-one-you-have-never-heard-of.

Further: Yuriy Tkachenko, The Prydniprovsky Chemical Plant – Ukraine’s Uranium Heritage, Bellona Foudation, Oslo, 2020, network.bellona.org/content/uploads/sites/3/2020/11/Pridniprovsky-Chemical-plant-English.pdf.

Quelle: Location of the decommissioned Prydniprovsky Chemical Plant (PCP), about 60 km northwest of the Zaporizhzhya NPP: Dniprodzerzhynsk Ukraine map.png, Skluesener, 5.1.2007

19.2.2022

In a speech at the Munich Security Conference, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj, announced that Ukraine would no longer abide by the Budapest Memorandum (1994) if NATO and the EU could no longer guarantee Ukraine’s security. He is thus calling for accession to both organisations. Abrogating the Memorandum is tantamount to withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. 

„Since 2014, Ukraine has tried three times to convene consultations with the guarantor states of the Budapest Memorandum. Three times without success. Today Ukraine will do it for the fourth time. I, as President, will do this for the first time. But both Ukraine and I are doing this for the last time. I am initiating consultations in the framework of the Budapest Memorandum. The Minister of Foreign Affairs was commissioned to convene them. If they do not happen again or their results do not guarantee security for our country, Ukraine will have every right to believe that the Budapest Memorandum is not working and all the package decisions of 1994 are in doubt. […]

What else can we do now? Continue to effectively support Ukraine and its defense capabilities. Provide Ukraine with a clear European perspective, the tools of support available to candidate countries, and clear and comprehensive timeframes for joining the Alliance.“

Zelensky’s full speech at Munich Security Conference, The Independent, Kyiv, 19.2.2022, kyivindependent.com/national/zelenskys-full-speech-at-munich-security-conference.

22.2.2022

Following the Ukrainian President’s speech at the Munich Security Conference on 19.2.2022 (see above), a BBC articleanalyses the likelihood and consequences of a „possible return of Ukraine’s nuclear status“ two days before the start of the Ukraine war. 

The article quotes not only from the Ukrainian president’s speech (same quote see above), but also Russian statements on the matter, including from Russian President Vladimir Putin:

“ ‚There have already been statements that Ukraine will develop its own nuclear weapons, and this is not an empty boast. Ukraine really has all the Soviet nuclear technologies and means to deliver such weapons, including, in particular, operational-tactical missiles ‚Tochka-U‘, also of Soviet design, whose range exceeds 100 kilometres‘, Putin said. […]

‚With the emergence of weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine, the situation in the world, in Europe, especially for us, for Russia, will change dramatically. We cannot but respond to this real danger, especially as I repeat that Western patrons can contribute to the emergence of such weapons in Ukraine. to create another threat to our country,‘ Putin added.“

Георгий Эрман, Может ли Украина вернуть себе ядерное оружие? И во что это ей обойдется? [Georgi Erman, Can Ukraine get nuclear weapons back? And what will it cost them?], BBC News, 22.2.2022,  www.bbc.com/russian/features-60483270.

6.3.2022

The two news agencies Interfax and TASS quote a Russian government source as saying that Kiev has been researching the development of nuclear weapons since 1994, i.e. after Ukraine joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Since the pro-Western overthrow on 23 February 2014, supported by the USA, NATO countries have helped Ukraine to acquire the technology to enrich uranium. Moscow accuses Kiev of using the exclusion zone around the damaged Chernobyl nuclear power plant for testing new nuclear weapons, in the background of the contaminated site. The military occupation of the Zaporizhzhya NPP (ZNPP), the largest nuclear plant in Europe, was to secure evidence of Ukraine’s nuclear weapons programme and violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Russian agencies reported. Quotes from an unnamed person in the Russian government: 

“ ‚Immediately after joining the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1994 as a non-nuclear weapon state, Ukraine began to carry out research and development to form the technological basis for the possible development of its own nuclear weapons. This work became clearly practical and increasingly active in 2014 after the well-known events in Ukraine at the tacit order of Poroshenko, then president of the country,‘ the source said. […]

‚Separately, the use of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant zone as a site for nuclear weapons development is worth mentioning. It was there, according to available information, that work was carried out both on the production of a ‚dirty‘ bomb and on the separation of plutonium. The naturally elevated radiation background in the Chernobyl zone concealed such work,‘ the source said.“

Украина могла создать ядерное оружие в ближайшей перспективе – информированный источник в РФ [Ukraine could develop nuclear weapons in the near future – an informed Russian Federation source], Interfax, Moscow, 6.3.2022, www.interfax.ru/russia/826642.

Lee also: 

История вопроса о безъядерном статусе Украины [Background on Ukraine’s nuclear-weapon-free status], Moscow, 6.3.2022, tass.ru/info/13985001.

23.3.2022

An article on the problem of nuclear proliferation appears in the Western media. The US Stimson Center in Washington reports that Kiev is planning to expand the Ukrainian repository in Chernobyl. In future, all spent fuel from the Ukrainian NPPs is to be stored there:

„Chornobyl is also the location of the world’s largest dry spent fuel storage facility, where 21,000 spent fuel assemblies from reactors 1, 2, and 3 will be stored.5 [Link: www.ebrd.com, 18.11.2020, s.o.] It is also the site of the newly built Centralized Spent Fuel Storage Facility (CFSF), intended to store spent fuel from nine reactors at the Rivne, Khmennitsky, and South Ukraine plants. In January 2020, operators anticipated the CFSF would receive its first shipments in April. […]

Historically, Ukraine has received most of its nuclear services and fuel from Russia, but has been moving in recent years to increase its energy independence. Westinghouse first tested and refined its fuel assemblies for VVER reactors at South Ukraine in 2005. Under the 2008 contract between Westinghouse and Ukraine’s Energoatom, Ukraine could buy fuel for reloading three of the South Ukrainian reactors in 2011-2015,7[Link: www.diis.dk, 11.11.2014]  and in 2014 Ukraine signed fuel contracts with Westinghouse which were extended in 2018. By the beginning of 2022, nearly half of the fuel in Ukraine’s nuclear power plants was provided by Westinghouse.8 [Link: nucnet.org, 18.12.2019]“

The Stimson Center, Ukraine. Nuclear Annexation: A New Proliferation Concern?, Washington, 23.3.2022, www.stimson.org/2022/nuclear-annexation

25.3.2022

The scientific journal Science published an article on the situation in Chernobyl after the Russian occupation. In it, Anatolii Nosovskyi, director of the Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants (ISPNPP) in Kyiv, told a scientist from Maryland, USA, that it was very likely that looters had raided a radiation monitoring laboratory and stolen radioactive isotopes. They could be mixed with conventional explosives and used to make a ‚dirty bomb‘ that could contaminate large areas with radioactivity:

„ISPNPP has a separate lab in Chornobyl with even more dangerous materials: ‚powerful sources of gamma and neutron radiation‘ used to test devices, Nosovskyi says, as well as intensely radioactive samples of material leftover from the Unit Four meltdown. Nosovskyi has lost contact with the lab, he says, so ‚the fate of these sources is unknown to us‘. „

Thus Ukraine confirms that it is conducting dual-use research with nuclear energy. The article further reports that Kiev has another thousand sites with radioactive material. According to official accounts, these would be strictly guarded. But there would also be critical voices: 

„But Vitaly Fedchenko, a nuclear security expert at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, notes that Ukraine, like other parts of the former Soviet Union, has not kept track of all the Soviet nuclear legacy. ‚There are a lot of radioactive sources that are not on anyone’s radar,‘ he says. ‚Even Ukraine’s radar.‘ „

Richard, Stone, Dirty bomb ingredients go missing from Chornobyl monitoring lab
Insecure radioactive materials are the latest worry as Russia continues occupation of infamous nuclear reservation, in: Science, Vol 376, Issue 6588, doi: 10.1126/science.abq2304, 25.3.2022, www.science.org/content/article/dirty-bomb-ingredients-go-missing-chornobyl-monitoring-lab.

Website of the Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants (ISPNPP) in Kyiv: Інститут проблем безпеки атомних електростанцій (ispnpp.kiev.ua/en).

Note: From the beginning on 24.2.2022 until the end of September 2022 of the Ukraine war, the Institute has not published any news.

20.4.2022

The Ukrainian magazine „Energobusiness“ interviews the head of the state energy company Energoatom, Petro Kotin. This extensive source gives the following relevant details: 

„— To continue the question about the situation at Zaporizhzhya NPP (ZNPP), what is the current situation there?

— It has not changed. The staff is still working under pressure from the Russian military. There are hundreds of armed soldiers, heavy equipment, ammunition depots, etc. on the site. This means that everything that the IAEA should have rejected is happening: the physical presence of troops around the NPP, the security zone is violated, we no longer control it … Russia has turned the NPP site into a military base. The staff, being under pressure, cannot rest, although this is required by the safety regulations. The supply of food is also inadequate. All these facts are a direct violation of nuclear and radiation safety, and the IAEA should respond. 

Is there a rotation of staff?

— Yes. On the first day of the occupation, one shift lasted about 20 hours, while a normal rotation is 8 hours. […]

The [Ukrainian] company [Energoatom] reported that fortunately the occupiers did not damage the central spent fuel storage facility in the Chernobyl exclusion zone [CSFSF]. Are you now preparing a storage facility to receive the first batches of these fuel assemblies?

— Yes. In principle, nothing prevents us from completing the work started before the war and accepting spent fuel there. We were supposed to get a licence from the regulator on 9 March, but all this has been postponed. However, I think we will get it soon. The only thing that hinders us now is the ban on transporting nuclear material through the territory of Ukraine. Because of the martial law.

If we get permission to transport, we will start transporting fuel to the storage site. If not (due to the danger of such transport), we will still unload the fuel and store it on the territory of the nuclear power plant. There are technologies and solutions for such interim storage.“

Журнал “Энергобизнес”, Петро Котін: «Людей підвозять автобусами, вони пересідають у човен і пливуть до міста прип’ять, до  ЧАЕС» [Magazine „Energobiznes“, Petro Kotin: „People are picked up by buses, change to a boat and go to the town of Pripyat, to the Chernobyl NPP“], Kiev, 20.4.2022, e-b.com.ua/petro-kotin-lyudei-pidvozyat-avtobusami-voni-peresidayut-u-coven-i-plivut-do-m-pripyat-do-caes-4014.

21.4.2022

The British website World Nuclear News (WNN) gives more information about the new nuclear repository CSFSF in the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl NPP:

„The CSFSF is a dry storage site for used nuclear fuel assemblies from seven VVER-1000 and two VVER-440 reactors at the Rivne, Khmennitsky and South Ukraine nuclear power plants. It is designed to have a total storage capacity of 16,530 used fuel assemblies, including 12,010 VVER-1000 assemblies and 4520 VVER-440 assemblies. Contracts were signed for its construction with USA-based Holtec International in 2005, though construction only began in 2017.“

World Nuclear News, Ukraine’s centralised used fuel storage facility ‚ready‘, London, 21.4.2022, www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Ukraine-s-centralised-spent-fuel-storage-facility.

29.7.2022

The Ukrainian network VoxUkraine publishes an article describing information about Ukrainian possession of nuclear weapons as „fake“:

„Social media users make the following arguments:

  • Ukraine has a scientific base for the development of nuclear weapons;
  • Ukraine has Zenit and Dnepr launch vehicles for nuclear weapons;
  • At the Munich conference, the Ukrainian president announced Ukraine’s withdrawal from the Budapest Memorandum;
  • Great Britain as a nuclear weapon state could transfer to Ukraine the technology to rebuild its nuclear arsenal.

However, this is not true. Ukraine finally renounced nuclear weapons in 1996 and has had no plans to rebuild its nuclear arsenal since then.“

Various sources are used to support these claims, including:

„Sergei Galaka, a nuclear weapons nonproliferation expert, argues, [Link: BBC article of 22.2.2022, see above], that in theory Ukraine could build the means to deliver nuclear weapons (warplanes, missiles), but Ukraine does not have the materials to build the weapons themselves. Ukraine does not create the highly enriched uranium needed for weapons production. Nor do we practice plutonium enrichment in nuclear reactors, which could also form the basis for nuclear weapons.“

The argument that the UK, as a nuclear power, could provide the relevant technology is not refuted in the article.

ФЕЙК: Украина собиралась восстановить ядерный арсенал. Проверка фейков в рамках партнерства с Meta [FAKE: Ukraine wanted to restore its nuclear arsenal, verification of forgeries in the framework of the partnership with Meta], VoxUkraine, 29.7.2022, voxukraine.org/ru/fejk-ukrayna-sobyralas-vosstanovyt-yadernyj-arsenal.

22.9.2022

The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine reports a successful IAEA inspection at the Institute of Nuclear Research of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the Chernobyl NPP: 

„On 21-22 September 2022, the Institute of Nuclear Research of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the Chernobyl NPP were successfully inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency within the framework of the Agreement between Ukraine and the IAEA in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. […] Purpose of the inspections carried out: Verification of the absence of undeclared nuclear material, information on the design of the nuclear facility and undeclared nuclear activities.“

Державна інспекція ядерного регулювання України, На ядерних установках України проведено інспекції та додатковий доступ МАГАТЕ [State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine, IAEA inspections and additional access were conducted at nuclear facilities in Ukraine], Kiew, 22.9.2022, snriu.gov.ua/news/na-yadernih-ustanovkah-ukrayini-provedeno-inspekciyi-ta-dodatkovij-dostup-magate.

26.9.2022

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) publishes the latest forecasts on the future of the peaceful use of nuclear power. For the first time since the reactor accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, (11.3.2011.) the share of nuclear power in electricity generation has risen again worldwide. It could increase from 10 to 14 per cent by 2050: The report states:  

“ ‚We are at a defining moment in the world’s transition to a more secure, stable and affordable energy future,‘ IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said. ‚Driven by the impacts of climate change and the energy crisis, governments are reconsidering their portfolios in favour of nuclear power. But for the high case scenario to be achieved, a number of challenges need to be addressed, including regulatory and industrial harmonization and progress in high level waste disposal.‘ „

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), IAEA Projections for Nuclear Power Growth Increase for Second Year Amid Climate, Energy Security Concerns, Press Release 26.9.2022, www.iaea.org/newscenter/pressreleases/iaea-projections-for-nuclear-power-growth-increase-for-second-year-amid-climate-energy-security-concerns.

26.9.2022

The IAEA’s projections were published as: ‚42nd edition of RDS-1‚. The report provides estimates of energy, electricity and nuclear power trends up to 2050, taking into account global and regional trends.

The two figures below show that the US is the world’s largest producer of nuclear power. They generate about twice as much as China or France and just under four times that of the Russian Federation. Ukraine is still ahead of Germany and Japan in the ranking (see figure below left). The figure on the right shows the share of nuclear energy in total electricity generation by country. France is at the top with 69 per cent, directly followed by Ukraine with 55 per cent. In the USA and Russia the share is just over 19 percent, and in Germany it is 11.9 percent. 

Conclusion: The member states of the EU, as well as Ukraine, are world leaders in terms of the share of nuclear power in their own energy production.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Energy, Electricity and Nuclear Power Estimates for the Period up to 2050, Wien 2022, cf. Figures p. 12 und 13, www.iaea.org/publications/15268/energy-electricity-and-nuclear-power-estimates-for-the-period-up-to-2050.

It is interesting to take a closer look at the finances of the IAEA. Apparently, the membership contributions are not linked to the amount of domestic nuclear power production. For Ukraine pays only 0.06 per cent of the IAEA’s annual budget, while Germany does 5.9 per cent, although they produce about the same amount of nuclear power (see figure above left). The figure below shows the disproportionate budget share of the G7 states and thus their strong influence on IAEA policy: the USA and the European states (EU, UK and EFTA) alone provide about 50 percent of the budget. The figure below is an own compilation and is based on IAEA data (see right).

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Scale of assessment of Member States‘ contributions towards the Regular Budget for 2022, GC(65)/RES/7, Date: September 2021, www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/gc/res-7_-_scale_of_assessment.pdf.

KIEV'S ENERGY POLICY

▪ SINCE THE STATE INDEPENDENCE OF UKRAINE (1.12.1991)

DATE

INFORMATIONS (own texts with „quotations“, of Ukrainian and Russian sources into English: S.R.)

SOURCES (author, title, URL etc.)

1977-1989

According to information from the official Ukrainian Website UATOM the Soviet Union planned to build 5 NPPs on the territory of Ukraine during this period: Zaporozhye, Rivne, Khmelnytskyi, Chernobyl and South Ukraine. They were to have a total capacity of 14,800 megawatts (MW).

„10 units, 8 of which with capacity of 1000 MW (four VVER-1000 reactors and four RBMK-1000 reactors) were in the operation at the time of technogenic accident at the fourth unit of Chornobyl NPP in April 1986 in Ukraine. From 1986 and till 1990 6 nuclear power units with the capacity of 1000MW each were put into operation: three units at Zaporizhzhya NPP and one unit for each nuclear power plant, which are South-Ukraine, Rivne and Khmelnytsky NPP.“

Website on nuclear and radiation safety and non-proliferation, Operating NPPs, Kiev 2019,  www.uatom.org/en/general-information.

2019

„After the shutdown of Chornobyl NPP [2000, S.R.], in Ukraine there are 4 nuclear power plants with VVER reactors in operation: Zaporizhzhya NPP, Rivne NPP, Khmelnytsky NPP and South-Ukraine NPP, here 15 nuclear energy units with installed capacity of 13835 MW operate.“

Website on nuclear and radiation safety and non-proliferation, Operating NPPs, Kiev 2019,  www.uatom.org/en/general-information.

11.3.2022

The Ministry of Energy of Ukraine provides the following information on its website about the organisational structure and development of its energy policy: 

„At the end of 1999, by decree of the President of Ukraine, the Ministry of Fuel and Energy of Ukraine was formed on the basis of the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Coal Industry, the State Department of Electric Power, the State Department of the Oil, Gas and Oil Refining Industry, and the State Department of Nuclear Energy. […]

Today, the United Energy System of Ukraine is one of the largest energy associations in Europe, which includes seven regional electric power systems (REES): Dnipro, Western, Crimean, Southern, South-Western, Northern and Central, interconnected by system-forming and trunk lines power transmission lines (LEP) 750 kV and 330-500 kV2. […]

On March 16, 2022, a historic event took place: the Ukrainian energy system was finally disconnected from its Soviet past – the power grid of Russia and Belarus. Against the backdrop of the Russian military invasion, more than a year ahead of schedule, Ukraine’s energy system was fully synchronised with the ENTSO-E power grid of continental Europe. The relevant decision was adopted by the association of system operators ENTSO-E on March 11, 2022. After synchronisation, the United Energy System of Ukraine works stably, the frequency is maintained at the level of 50 Hz.

Міністерство енергетики Украіни, Історія енергетики [Ministry of Energy of Ukraine, History of Energy], Kiev, 11.3.2022, mev.gov.ua/storinka/istoriya-enerhetyky.

Vgl. European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), Brussels, www.entsoe.eu. DUkraine is a member of ENTSO-E, represented by the national company UKRENERGO, Kiev: ua.energy.

Національна комісія, що здійснює державне регулювання у сферах енергетики та комунальних послуг (НКРЕКП) [National Commission for State Regulation of Energy and Public Utilities], Kiev: www.nerc.gov.ua.

10.5.2022

Three gas pipelines with a diameter of 1400 mm and a transit capacity of 244 million cubic metres of gas per day run through the „Sudzha“ station on the Ukrainian border with Russia in the north-east (see map below). The Ukrainian transit operator GTS has so far only committed to a transit volume of 109.6 million cubic metres per day. It published the following data (cf. map below and source on the right): 

„It should be noted that the average daily transit volume through the point of connection “Sudzha” was:
• in 2017 – 181.2 million cubic meters;
• in 2018 – 170.7 million cubic meters;
• in 2019 – 180.3 million cubic meters;
• in 2020 (already under the new transit agreement) – 130.1 million cubic meters.

For the same period, the maximum volumes reached:
• in 2017 – 247.7 million cubic meters;
• in 2018 – 245.3 million cubic meters;
• in 2019 – 241 million cubic meters;
• in 2020 – 165.1 million cubic meters.

According to the existing transit agreement for 2020-2025, which provided for the transit of 65 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2020, the contract capacity at the point of “Sudzha” was 150.7 million cubic meters per day.

Moreover, a similar transfer of capacity from Sokhranivka to Sudzha took place from October 12 to 25, 2020, due to scheduled repairs. At that time, gas transit through the Sudzha entry point was 165.1 million cubic meters per day.“

Conclusion: In 2020, Ukraine concluded gas supply contracts with Russia until 2025. According to its own data, Ukraine has at times imported more gas per day from Russia in recent years than it had planned. The Ukrainian transit operator GTS wants to increase this volume to 244 million cubic metres of gas per day and thus completely replace Nord Stream-1 and Nord Stream-2 (see source below). Ukrainian energy companies will benefit from the halt of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline and expand their business with transit gas from Russia. 

Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine,
Limited Liability Company, Regarding the technical possibility of transferring transit volumes to GMS “Sudzha” Kiev, 11.5.2022, tsoua.com/en/news/regarding-the-technical-possibility-of-transferring-transit-volumes-to-gms-sudzha/.

Cf. video on YouTube:

Українська ГТС – енергетичний щит Європи | Як Україна перемогла кремль у „газових війнах“, 
5 канал 
[Ukrainian GTS – The Energy Shield of Europe. How Ukraine defeated the Kremlin in the „gas wars“, 5 channel], Kiev, 29.11.2018, YouTube: youtu.be/MPrqI5DlijA.

25.7.2022

The Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTS) promoted via social media (Telegram) the largest Ukrainian pipeline for the transit of Russian gas „Sudzha“ (see map above, Ukraine-Russia border in the north-east). Director General Serhiy Makogon [uk. Сергій Макогон] said this could supply all of Europe in the future: „Nord Stream-1 and Nord Stream-2 are superfluous.“

Further, on Telegram, it said:

„The technical capacity of the „Sudzha“ pipeline is 244 million cubic metres [of gas per day]. 💪 It is sufficient for Europe to receive the following:

✅  reliable gas transport;
✅  reduction of the price of blue fuel;
✅  the possibility to prepare effectively for the heating season.

nstead, the Russians are deliberately restricting gas supplies not only through the controlled Nord Stream-1, but also through Ukraine:
Of the 109 million cubic metres [gas per day] contract capacity, the Russians are only using 42 million.“

Karte: На „трубі“: репортаж з диспетчерської української ГТС [In the „tube“: a message from the control room of the Ukrainian GTS], Kiev, 7.3.2018, www.epravda.com.ua/publications/2018/03/7/634729.

Source: Оператор газотранспортноі системи Украіни [Оператор ГТС України, Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine, Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine], Kiev, 25.7.2022, Telegram: Contact @gastsoua, t.me/gastsoua/620.

26.8.2022

„ABOUT US

National Power Company Ukrenergo is a private joint stock company with 100% state-owned shares, managed by the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine […]

Аt the end of 2021 Ukrenergo has applied for ENTSO-E observer-membership.
Ukrenergo made every effort to ensure the formation of secondary legislation on the functioning of the new model of the electricity market, as well as introduced the Market management system (MMS) platform for the purchase/sale of electricity in the balancing market and the ancillary services market.

Ukrenergo is one of the key players in the electricity market, which performs the functions of the administrator of commercial metering and the administrator of settlements, as well as its obligations to ensure the public interest (PSO) in the functioning of the electricity market.“

European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), Brussels, www.entsoe.eu.

Ukraine is a member of ENTSO-E, represented by:

Національна енергетична компанія «Укренерго» [National Power Company UKRENERGO], Kiev, ua.energy/about_us/.

For questions and collaborations contact me: 
Tel. (0049) 0170 388 9526 | kontakt@sabineriedel.de