Ukraine has announced its decision on Monday, January 29 to build four new nuclear reactors at the Khmelnytskyi power plant which will eventually become the largest in Europe.
The decision has been made in order to meet the energy needs of the nation which have been affected due to Russia taking control of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine. The plant has been under Russia’s control since March 2022 with all its six reactors non-operational.
Energy Minister German Galushchenko made the news official in a television broadcast stating, “With the power that six reactors at Khmelnytskyi nuclear power plant will be able to produce, it will be the largest in Europe and even more powerful than Zaporizhzhia,” according to NDTV World.
The Khmelnytskyi power plant which currently houses two reactors was first established in 1981 and became functional shortly after the 1986 Chernobyl Disaster. The plant was initially supposed to have four reactors and however reactors three and four did not achieve completion due to some regulations imposed on new nuclear projects.
Under the new plan, two new US-designed, AP1000 reactors will be installed along with the previously sanctioned reactors which will be of Soviet VVER-1000 design.
Ukraine- IAEA Discussing Nuclear Safety and Security Protection Zone
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has expressed concerns regarding military activities taking place in the proximity of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP). Many explosions have been reported in the surrounding area which has been rendered volatile as a result of the ongoing conflict.
“Almost daily in recent days and weeks, the IAEA nuclear safety and security team at the plant has been reporting such events to headquarters in Vienna. Some blasts apparently take place some distance away from Europe’s largest nuclear power plant (NPP), while others seem much closer to the facility itself. Yesterday, eight strong detonations were heard at around 10am local time, causing office windows at the plant to vibrate, and more were audible today,” reported Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi on January 26.
Grossi also held meetings with Ukraine President Zelensky in Kyiv earlier this month to discuss a “Nuclear Safety and Security Protection Zone around the site”
IAEA has also deployed permanent teams at various sites throughout Ukraine to maintain nuclear safety as the war rages on.
The country has also informed the agency about a considerable decrease in its nuclear power output as a result of the ongoing conflict.