Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma said that he was taking the completion of the Khmelnitski 2 and Rovno 4 (K2R4) reactors under his personal control in an effort to accelerate progress on it.

Kuchma said: “Seven years have elapsed (since the decision to close Chernobyl), and construction (of K2R4) is right where it started. I think we should blame ourselves; we are an excessively trusting nation.” Kuchma ordered monthly reports on the progress of K2R4 construction. He also highlighted what he said was a lack of concrete commitment to K2R4 by the G7 countries and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Energoatom said that completing Rovno 4 will cost far less than Ukraine’s government estimated in March 2003. The national nuclear operator said that Rovno 4 can be brought into operation for about $220 million, including $40 million for fuel and $12.3 million for the 30km affected zone. In March, the government estimated completion costs at $642 million, including $340 million for construction and $200 million to upgrade the unit’s design, plus another $41 million for fuel. Energoatom has not explained the difference in the estimates.