Ukraine’s Union of Veterans of Nuclear Energy and Industry on 10 April addressed an open letter to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Prime Minister Denis Shmygal and Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Dmitry Razumkov urging them to intervene urgently in the critical situation that has developed around nuclear utility Energoatom, Unian reported.
The open letter, was signed by the former director of the Zaporozhye nuclear plant, the ex-MP of Ukraine Vladimir Bronnikov, the former director of the Rovno NPP Vladimir Korovkin, the chairman of the Council of the Union of Veterans of Nuclear Energy and Industry of Ukraine Maxim Kremen, the former deputy chief engineer of the Kiev Institute Energoprojekt Viktor Shenderovich and Nikolay Shteinberg, who in different years held the positions of chief engineer of the Chernobyl NPP, chairman of regulator Gosatomnadzor and Minister of Energy.
“For several months, the country's leading electricity supplier, Energoatom, has had no permanent managers able to receive the relevant permissions from the nuclear regulatory authority. Therefore, legally no one is responsible for the safety of NPPs. Are there really not enough Chernobyls for us that we are trying to repeat it again?”, the authors said.
“Energoatom is experiencing a shortage of funds needed to ensure the safe operation and procurement of nuclear fuel, which is growing rapidly. Do you realise what the forced shutdown of nuclear power units will lead to? ” the letter asked.
The veterans drew the attention of the state’s leadership to the fact of attempts to “drag” people professionally distant from nuclear power into the management of Energoatom to manage financial flows in the interests of people for whom their own prosperity is more important than the well-being of the country and its population.
“Do you realise that all this is a gross violation of the international nuclear security regime? Isn’t it time to stop the intrigues around Ukraine’s nuclear energy and take measures to ensure the country's security and the well-being of its people? ”
The authors noted: “We do not ask and do not urge, but insist on stopping stop the practice of ARIO (temporary acting), stopping the financial discrimination of the Energoatom National Atomic Energy Company, and preventing the country from sliding into another Chernobyl!”
Energoatom is the operator of four nuclear plants in Ukraine (Zaporozhye, Rovno, South-Ukraine and Khmelnitsky), which comprise 15 nuclear reactors. Thirteen are VVER-1000s and two are VVER-440s, and they have a total installed capacity of 13.8MWe.