The risk for another nuclear disaster, similar to the one that occurred at Chernobyl NPP, remains high in Ukraine due to the deplorable condition in the Ukrainian nuclear industry, an article in The Washington Times said.
Predictably, corruption is the main problem. As a result, irresponsibility and negligence in the management of Ukraine's nuclear infrastructure is omnipresent. The nuclear industry produces 53 percent of energy that the country consumes.
"Ukraine's nuclear power plants are supposed to be regulated by the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU), which by law is an independent regulatory body. In recent years, however, it has become standard practice for the leaders of SNRIU to be appointed by the state nuclear power plant operator, Energoatom, instead of through a rigorous, independent selection process," the article in The Washington Times runs.
As a result, the regulator finds itself under the control of the operator. "If Energoatom cannot meet certain safety standards or deadlines, its bosses simply inform the regulator of such, and the deadlines are extended or eliminated, public safety be damned," the article continues.
As a result, Energoatom understands that there is no need to strictly abide by regulations, and the agency neglects security. Firms of doubtful reputation are hired to service nuclear facilities.
The article also says that the West was pushing dangerous nuclear fuel of Westinghouse for Ukraine as replacement for Russian nuclear fuel. In fact, Westinghouse uranium rods were of poorer quality in comparison with Russian nuclear fuel. At the same time, the foreign nuclear products were much more expensive than those from Russia. To crown it all, experts found that foreign nuclear fuel could be highly dangerous if used at Soviet-made nuclear power plants.
The risk of another nuclear disaster in Ukraine is obvious, and it is too high.
Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru