Ukraine’s debt to Russia

27 August 1999

Ukraine Ukraine is due to pay Russia $74.66 million for nuclear fuel deliveries in the first six months of this year, according to Ukrainian Minister of Power Ivan Plachkov.

Ukraine has run up a huge debt for gas, coal and nuclear fuel. According to the Ministry of Power, the debts are delaying the refuelling at Zaporozhye, South Ukraine and Rovno nuclear power plants.

Loading fresh nuclear fuel at Zaporozhye 2 is complete, according to the Nuclear Control Administration. The Administration said 48 fuel assemblies have been loaded and new control rods and a protection system are in the process of being installed. However, repairs at unit 5 have been extended to 1 October since fresh fuel is lacking. Routine repairs continue at unit 4.

Meanwhile, preparations to bring unit 2 at Rovno into outage have begun. The output capacity has been reduced by 50% and one turbine has been shut down. At Chernobyl 3, which has been shut down since 1 July for repairs due to last for four months, control measurements of fuel channels are being taken. Inspection and repair of the main circulation pumps is also said to be under way.

• Energoatom has indicated it may be unable to meet the year-2000 deadline for closing Chernobyl, as the energy will be needed over the coming winter months.

“We will not have enough time to complete all construction works which might allow safe shutdown of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant by 1 January 2000,” said Mykola Dudchenko, Energoatom chairman.

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