Completion of these two VVER-1000 units has been planned for several years as both were far advanced when work stopped after the break-up of the Soviet Union. But years of discussion with the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) and a series of reviews of the project and proposals for funding the restart came to an end in late 2001 when Ukraine turned down a $215 million loan, saying that it could not accept the conditions attached.
Now Ukraine has expressed an interest in resuming talks with the EBRD and says that the Bank is willing to look again at the project. Ukrainian officials said EBRD president Jean Lemierre, who visited to Ukraine in October, made the announcement following a meeting with the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Volodymyr Lytvyn. Ukrainian prime minister Anatoly Kinakh also assured Lemierre of his willingness to resume talks.
However, Ukraine is confident it can finish building the two units even if it does not receive outside funding, said Mykola Shteynberg, deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Fuel and Energy. "Uranium is one of the two natural resources that Ukraine possesses enough of to generate electricity," Shteynberg said. Other nuclear industry priorities include extending the life and enhancing safety at existing reactors. At the moment, 13 units are operating, 12 of which will come to the end of their design life before 2019, and only one, at the Zaporozhye plant will continue until 2025.