The Ukrainian state is working on the development of the nuclear industry to ensure energy security and synchronization of the national energy system with the energy system of the European Union. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a meeting with IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi in Kyiv.
"Today I can confidently say that Ukraine is determined to develop its nuclear energy," the President said.
In particular, Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that our country plans to switch to the use of modern nuclear reactors, including small modular reactors SMR-160, as it aims to localize technological production for SMR-160 in Ukraine.
The President called the visit of Rafael Mariano Grossi to Ukraine on the 35th anniversary of the Chornobyl accident symbolic. The President thanked the IAEA and the international community for their attention to the Chornobyl issue since the first days of the tragedy at the nuclear power plant, as well as for their support in overcoming its consequences.
"This applies not only to the implementation of technical assistance projects, but also to the exchange of experience and knowledge. I’d like to note the special role of knowledge in nuclear energy. Today, our experts have unique experience in the field of nuclear safety and nuclear decommissioning. Ukraine is ready to share this knowledge with the IAEA so that such accidents never happen again," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.
He noted that the Chornobyl disaster has changed the perception of nuclear energy in the world, and now Ukraine is changing the perception of the disaster itself. Ukrainian experts are trying to give new life to the Chornobyl zone, which is a unique object where nature is gradually being revived after the manmade catastrophe. The President expressed hope that after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, the head of the IAEA, as well as scientists, environmentalists, historians and tourists from around the world will be able to see it with their own eyes.
"We are also transforming the destroyed fourth power unit into an environmentally friendly system step by step. To do this, we have implemented an unprecedented engineering project - built an arch of a new safe confinement. We are completing the construction of a centralized spent nuclear fuel storage facility, which will increase the level of nuclear safety and ensure greater energy independence," the President added.
In addition, Ukraine has received a license for the industrial operation of the spent nuclear fuel storage facility SNFSF-2, which will store spent nuclear fuel from the first, second and third power units for 100 years, he said.
Separately, the President drew attention to security issues both in Ukraine and in the European region in the context of nuclear safety. In particular, with regard to the seizure by Russia during the occupation of part of our territory of nuclear facilities and materials in Crimea, which are owned by Ukraine and subject to IAEA guarantees, and the Young Communar mine in the Donetsk region where the situation is currently dangerous and threatens the environment due to the cessation of drainage works in 2018.
"Neither the competent authorities of Ukraine nor the IAEA have had access to nuclear facilities and materials for seven years. The lack of such information is a problem that has no borders, and its consequences will have no boundaries," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.
At the same time, he stressed that Ukraine remains committed to its international obligations in the nuclear field and aims to restore the application of IAEA guarantees in the occupied territories.