#Official Commentary of Alla Barkhatnova on building nuclear waste repository near Kiev
In Ukraine, another cherished dream has come true – building of a centralized repository for spent nuclear fuel was resumed. It should be noted immediately that the idea itself is not new. Senior comrades, Americans, tried to impose it on every independent Ukrainian president – say, let’s get on to your already so contaminated land and bury all our nuclear waste.
The construction of the landfill of radioactive waste has been agreed during Victor Yushchenko, however controversial project was shelved, since at that moment the public rebelled against him.
But according to the new Ukrainian leaders’ ‘dignity revolution’ has brought new opportunities to the country, and now the deadly object is to be built. Moreover a place to host was chosen not somewhere in the boonies, but in close proximity to the capital of Ukraine. About 45 hectares of land has been allocated for building construction, and a loan agreement for 260 million dollars was signed with the United States. Kiev began to buy from an American company Westinghouse nuclear fuel, which, based on the results of testing of the State Committee for Nuclear Regulation of Ukraine, is not adapted for use in nuclear power plants of the country.
Unfortunately, listen to the opinions of relevant specialists for the Ukrainian government means outright disrupt of everything that ‘Great Maidan’ bequeathed. Even the fact that a number of European countries abandoned the use of Westinghouse fuel, and the fact that the general contractors that perform construction of a nuclear repository in the long run will make experiments on the country, does not bother the official Kiev. As a result, some absurd situation is developing: Ukrainians allow poisoning themselves for their own expense, and the Americans get rid of unnecessary and dangerous waste while obtaining a profit.
Nevertheless, the construction of nuclear graveyard is actively lobbied by the Ukrainian government. This project is presented to the public exclusively from patriotic point of view: that it’s time to reset the ‘shackles’ of energy dependence on Russia, stop wasting each year up to 200 million dollars needed for sending and storage of nuclear waste in the Russian Federation, and start to diversify the spent nuclear fuel themselves.
It should be noted that similar repositories exist in many countries. But there is a completely different approach to the storage and disposal of nuclear waste. These stores are located in places where there is not a soul around for kilometers. For example, France has arranged it on one of the islands in the Pacific, the United States – in the Nevada desert, Russia – in Siberia.
But in the case of Ukraine the situation is different. Demonstrating loyalty to the United States, the country wants to build a deadly object, without evaluating all of the associated risks, in a hurry and with minimal costs. In Ukraine, they also prefer to turn a blind eye not only to a serious threat to the ecology of their own country, but also to the border regions of Belarus and Russia.
Ukraine is ready to do anything to renounce ties with Russia. I think that as a result of the US-Ukrainian nuclear investigations will lead to the Ukrainian nuclear infrastructure degradation, and subsequently – to an environmental disaster on its territory. Vanishing level of intelligence of the Kiev authorities, the total corruption in the country and the total lack of independence of Ukrainian ‘guarantor’ are frightening and aggravating the situation. In this state of things, there is a very high risk that the repository will be built with flagrant violations, with regular temporary worker in power for the sake of an extra penny will offer services for the disposal of nuclear waste to anyone and without restrictions.
One can only hope that most of the money allocated for the construction of repository would be stolen at the stage of signing the budget, and this idea will die having no start at all, as, for example, the scandalous project of the former Prime Minister Yatsenyuk “The Wall” or “Hospital of the Future” of ex-President Yushchenko’s wife.
Alla Barkhatnova, the DPR People’s Council deputy