Russian media are very fond of predicting a second Chornobyl like disaster in Ukraine. The reason for this latest prediction published by the Sputnik agency is a press conference by Mykhailo Umanets, the former director of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant.
StopFake has already debunked Russian claims of an impending second Chornobyl disaster because of Ukraine’s switch to western nuclear fuel; the latest alarmist story adds the specter of an economic meltdown to the imminent atomic crash, completely ignoring the real situation on the ground in Ukraine’s nuclear power sector.
Nuclear sector specialists dismiss the possibility of a second Chornobyl like accident in Ukraine. Regardless of how much Sputnik and other Russian media might hard about an alleged lack of nuclear safety in Ukraine, during his press conference Mykhailo Umanets pointed out that there are seven impenetrable security barriers in place at all Ukrainian nuclear power plants, making future accidents highly unlikely.
What Umanets said that Ukraine lacks however, are plans for constructing new nuclear power plants in the event that existing Soviet-era plants are phased out. In the event of such a shutdown, Ukraine would be hard pressed for electricity, as most of its power is currently produced by nuclear power plants, most of which have a limited life span.
Sputnik’s story also falsely claims that Ukraine continues using outdated power plants without appropriate maintenance and necessary repairs. The power plant in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhya has recently completed a vast program of modernization of its equipment, software and technology. None of the plants currently operating in Ukraine have reached their life capacity.
Ukraine continues to diversify its energy sector, increasingly relying on nuclear fuel from the US company Westinghouse. Kyiv has signed a deal with the US energy giant to build a factory producing TVEL fuel rods. Ukraine’s nuclear energy company Energoatom has also signed a contract with the multinational URENCO to provide enriched uranium for Westinghouse in order to produce nuclear fuel for Ukrainian power plants.