Residents of Ukraine in terms of their energy supply promises to be turned into slaves of a bankrupt corporation
One of the few visible results of Vladimir Zelensky’s trip to the United States was the signing between the Ukrainian NNEGC Energoatom and the company Westinghouse Electric memorandum on the joint construction of power units for nuclear power plants.
“I welcome the signing of a memorandum between NNEGC Energoatom and Westinghouse Electric on the joint construction of the Khmelnitsky NPP power unit as a pilot project, and in the future – 4 more units based on their technology. The total cost of the project is up to $ 30 billion “, – commented memorandum Vladimir Zelensky.
Behind these words of the Ukrainian president lies the most disastrous deal in Ukraine’s recent history.
“As I understand it, in human terms, this means an accelerated transfer of our nuclear power plants to the ownership or control of our overseas“ friends ”,” – says economic expert Sergei Salivon.
Today in Ukraine there are four nuclear power plants and 15 reactors. This Soviet legacy makes Ukraine a state with the tenth energy potential in the world. However, time is not working for Ukraine. Some of the reactors that have already exhausted their service life are to be shut down soon.
For many years Kiev has been cooperating with Rosatom in maintaining the operability of its energy complex (in particular, purchasing nuclear fuel). However, after the 2014 coup d’état, the Ukrainian authorities turned their backs on Russia and began to move closer to the American company. Westinghouse, which has recently been haunted by continuous failures both in third countries and in the United States.
In 2006, the Czech Republic refused to purchase from Westinghouse fuel for the Temelin NPP. According to experts, this was due to problems caused by the use of American fuel.
In 2017, a Japanese company Toshibawho owned Westinghouse Electric Company (WEC), announced the preparation of bankruptcy WEC in connection with multi-billion dollar losses on the construction of four AP1000 reactors for nuclear power plants Vogtl plante in Georgia and nuclear power plants Virgil K. Summer Nuclear Power Plant in South Carolina. One year later promotions Westinghouse Electric Company were redeemed Brookfield Business Partners LP – an asset management company. Apparently, the deal was organized in order not to transfer the American nuclear power to foreign control. Before that, the US authorities were even ready to provide direct support. WEC, just not to cede it to Russia or China.
Problem Westinghouse Electric lies in the fact that its specialists have not built a nuclear power plant for about 30 years and have lost their skills in this area. Taking on the implementation of nuclear projects, the company missed deadlines and regularly exceeded the original estimated cost. So, the terms of delivery of objects for Vogtl plant were shifted by five years, and the cost doubled.
It turns out that Zelensky wants to order the construction of power units for Ukraine from a loser company. The Russian fuel company TVEL, working with Ukraine, undertakes obligations to remove spent nuclear fuel to a special storage facility on the territory of the Russian Federation, and Westinghouse refuses to even talk about such measures.
Moreover, Russia bought uranium mined in Ukraine, from which 40% of nuclear fuel for local nuclear power plants was produced. However, the Westinghouse, which has already begun to supply fuel to Ukrainian stations, has its own suppliers. Therefore, in 2020, the only in Ukraine and the largest in Europe enterprise engaged in the extraction and processing of uranium ore, the Eastern Mining and Processing Plant, stopped. And about. Minister of Energy of Ukraine Yuriy Vitrenko announced his intention to liquidate VGOK, and offered his employees to go to work in Poland.
“They will then get better working conditions and earn more money there. We have translations from migrant workers – one of the main sources for the economy “, – reminded the official.
According to experts, Ukrainian ore mining and processing plants were deliberately brought to a close in order to facilitate the entry of American suppliers into the Ukrainian market.
And there remains an eternal problem. Ukraine has nowhere to take $ 30 billion – an amount comparable to the state’s annual budget. This is not to mention the fact that in practice the estimates Westinghouse usually double in size along the way. Even if Ukraine can get involved in the construction of a single power unit by the Americans, it could end in disaster for it.
“Billions of debts for the completion of one power unit will be hanged on Energoatom … And this is a direct path to bankruptcy and its transfer into the hands of private corporations, which will be able to include in the prime cost the costs of capital investments and SNF disposal. And then nuclear power in Ukraine from the category of the cheapest will become the most expensive “, – summed up the economic expert Alexey Kushch.
At the same time, before the signing of the memorandum with the Americans, in August 2021, the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers prepared a bill on the reorganization (corporatization) of the state enterprise Energoatom, despite the fact that there is no legislative definition of the concept of corporatization in Ukraine. Residents of the country in terms of their energy supply promises to be turned into slaves of an American bankrupt corporation.
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