Ukraine to maintain nuclear's share of electricity

23 August 2017

Nuclear power is to remain a key component of Ukraine's energy mix under a new energy strategy approved by the cabinet at a meeting on 18 August. Under the strategy, nuclear's share of the country's electricity generation will remain at around 50% to 2035.

The ministry of energy and coal industry said the strategy document - titled Security, Energy Efficiency, Competitiveness - outlines a set of wide-ranging reforms in the country's energy sector. These reforms, it said, are aimed at reducing the energy intensity of the economy, attracting investment, increasing the domestic supply of energy, improving energy efficiency and integrating Ukraine's energy sector into that of the European Union.

The document has taken more than two years to draft. Contributions came from Ukrainian institutes and public organisations, including the National Institute for Strategic Studies, as well as domestic and international experts.

Rovno plant - 460 (Energoatom)
The Rovno nuclear power plant in north western Ukraine. Fifteen nuclear reactors supply about half the country's electricity (Image: Energoatom)

Vice prime minister Volodymyr Kistion said, "The essential objective of the new strategy is to reduce energy consumption of Ukraine's economy by half by 2030 and to boost the country's production of both traditional and alternative energy sources."

The strategy stipulates that nuclear power will provide 50% of the country's electricity demand by 2035, with renewable sources providing 25%, hydropower 13% and the remainder supplied by fossil power plants.

According to data from the International Energy Agency, Ukraine generated a total of 182.82 TWh of electricity in 2014. Of this, 48% was produced by the country's 15 nuclear power reactors, 46% from fossil fuels, 5% from hydro, and less than 1% from wind and solar.

Energy minister Igor Nasalik said the strategy is an important document for the country's fuel and energy industry in the long term. "According to the strategy, an action plan will be drafted where measures and timings for implementing concrete issues will be defined," he said.

Ukrainian priorities in terms of nuclear fuel listed in the strategy are to ensure the growth of uranium and zirconium production and for the industrial development of proven uranium deposits. The strategy notes that the country already has the capacity to produce some nuclear fuel components. It says Ukraine should expand the range of components it can produce domestically and import nuclear fuel fabrication technology. Ukraine should also build up a stock of fresh nuclear fuel, the document says.

Kistion said: "The foundations of the sustainable energy future of our country are laid. The energy strategy only envisages goals, the implementation of which should be reflected in the step-by-step approach. Given the above, there is still much to do."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News