: 09-09-2003
Joint Statement: Ukrainian Nuclear Sector Threatens European Safety

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September, 5, 2003. Kyiv, Ukraine.

Joint Statement by

Civic Association Gromadsky kontrol (Civic Control)
Ecological Association Zelenyi Svit(Friends of the Earth Ukraine)
Civic Committee for National Security
National Committee on Radiological Protection (individual experts)
Society for Nature Protection, Khmelnyckyj regional chapter
Society for Sustainable Development

Ukraines nuclear sector is running our of resources. Currently, 56 percent of equipment at Ukraines 13 nuclear power plant blocks require repair or replacement. Majority of the equipment are nuclear control systems responsible for the safety of operation of nuclear power plants. Concurrently, Ukraines government and private investors do not provide sufficient funds for restoration, modernization, and maintenance, to ensure sufficient safety standards for the nuclear plants.

Any comprehensive program for modernization and raising nuclear plants safety in Ukraine is not in place. Accordingly, on August 15, 2003, Pechersk District Court of Kyiv city has recognized the negligence of the government as illegitimate in the field of securing nuclear safety in Ukraine. In its official decision, the Court recognized that the condition of nuclear energy threatens the safety of life and the public health of the Ukrainian people, as well as the environment.

Some nuclear power plants are operated illigaly in Ukraine: Eleven out of the thirteen existing nuclear power modules of nuclear power plants are operated without mandatory operation licenses.

Additionally, two obsolete, soviet-style VVER-1000 nuclear modules, are being currently built in Ukraine at Khmelnytsk and Rivne Nuclear Power Plants (named K2 and R4), where, even hypothetically, it is impossible to ensure the level of safety that would be compliant to EU nuclear safety standards.

Ukraines nuclear power industry is at a verge of a disaster, which can threaten life not only in Ukraine, but elsewhere Europe and the world.

We raise a special concern to the necessity of attempts of Ukraines government to complete building the K2 and R4 by themselves, without involvement of European professionals. The Ukrainian government finally refused European investors money that has been proposed to aid completing the two construction projects, as Vice-Prime Minister Vitaliy Hayduk had declared on August 23, 2003.

The K2 and R4 nuclear plants have being built since 1993. Progressively, it turned out that the contractors of the project had to take substantial measures to modernize the project documentation, which was based on research from 1960s - 1970s, in order to ensure basic safety of these objects. A corresponding program for increasing the level of safety on the K2 and R4 projects had been developed.

The completion of the K2 and R4 modernization works and the construction considered financing by loans from EU in the amount of US$1.46 billions. However, as of November 30, 2001, the Ukrainian government and the President suddenly refused to receive loans from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), or from any other European institutions. They found the conditions of loan offers too burdensome and asked the Russian government to take part in completing the construction of the plants "on any conditions".

Therefore, currently, dangerous, and possibly unnecessary, construction of the two nuclear power plants in Ukraine is proceeding at expense of scarce funds of Ukrainian taxpayers. We also emphasize that the national Legislation on governmental experts assessment did not take into account human rights for environment safety of life and health in this instance. Ukrainian governments measures in modernizing and increasing safety of the plants are not sufficient. We do not see any distant possibility of establishing transparent public control over the construction of the nuclear modules.

We believe that the decision to complete the construction of the K2 and R4 plants by the Ukrainian government independently is irresponsible and does not provide guarantees of minimum safety for the Ukrainian people. The decision will causes decreasing nuclear safety in Ukraine and Europe, which implies deteriorating relations with Ukraines neighboring countries and the European Union.

We realize our civic responsibility. We are strongly opposed to the, as we believe, irresponsible and inconsistent policy of the Government of Ukraine in the area of nuclear power industry and in assuring nuclear safety of the Ukrainian People.

Therefore, we demand from the Ukrainian government:

1) to begin implementing the Comprehensive Program for Modernization and Increasing Safety of Modules of Nuclear Power Plants,

2) to stop the construction of dangerous and outdated nuclear modules at K2 and R4 nuclear plants;

3) Instead of building the K2 and R4 plants, -- to invest public funds in a comprehensive modernization, reconstruction, and raising safety of the existing nuclear power modules at the 13 Ukraines nuclear power plants.


Vasyl Volga,
Civic Association Gromadsky Kontrol
(Civic Control)

Yurij Samojlenko,
Ecological Association Zelenyi Svit
(Friends of the Earth Ukraine)

Oleksiy Tolkachov,
Public Committee for National Security

Natalia Preobrazenska,
National Committee on Radiological Protection

Volodimyr Usatenko,
National Committee for Radiological Protection of Ukraine

Yurij Reznikov,
Society for Nature Protection,
Khmelnycky regional chapter

Yurij Tishenko,
Executive Director,
Society for Sustainable Development

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