Nuclear power in Ukraine

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Ukrainian coin commemorating nuclear power

Ukraine operates four nuclear power plants with 15 reactors located in Volhynia and South Ukraine.[1] The total installed nuclear power capacity is over 13 GWe,[2] ranking seventh in the world in 2016.[1] Energoatom, a Ukrainian state enterprise, operates all four active nuclear power stations in Ukraine.[3] In 2014, nuclear power supplied 49.4% of Ukraine's electricity production of 168 TWh.


Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant is Europe's largest with six reactors whose total capacity is 6 GW[1]
Khmelnizka NPP
Rivne NPP

Ukraine relies to a large extent on nuclear power. The largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, is located in Ukraine. In 2006, the government planned to build 11 new reactors by the year 2030, which would almost double the current amount of nuclear power capacity.[4] Ukraine's power sector is the twelfth-largest in the world in terms of installed capacity, with 54 gigawatts (GW).[5] Renewable energy still plays a very modest role in electrical output; in 2005 energy production was met by the following sources: nuclear (47 percent), thermal (45 percent), hydroelectric and other (8 percent).[4]

Chernobyl AES

The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. An explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive contamination into the atmosphere, which spread over much of Western USSR and Europe. It is considered the worst nuclear power plant accident in history, and is one of only two classified as a level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale (the other being the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster).[6] The battle to contain the contamination and avert a greater catastrophe ultimately involved over 500,000 workers and cost an estimated 18 billion rubles, crippling the Soviet economy.[7]

Ukraine used to receive its nuclear fuel exclusively from Russia by the Russian company TVEL. Since 2008 the country also gets nuclear fuel from Westinghouse.[8] Since 2014 Westinghouse's share of imports grew to more than 30% in 2016.[1] In 2018 Westinghouse's contract to supply VVER fuel was extended to 2025.[9] Oil and natural gas provide the remainder of the country's energy; these are also imported from the former Soviet Union.

In 2011 Energoatom began a project to bring safety into line with international standards at an estimated cost of $1.8 billion, with a target completion date of 2017. In 2015 the completion date was put back to 2020, due to financing delays.[10] In 2015 some government agencies made corruption allegations against Energoatom, with concerns raised by Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.[11] In March 2016, Energoatom's assets and bank accounts were frozen by Ukrainian courts over allegedly unpaid debts; Energoatom appealed the decision, but the frozen finances led to contractual breaches.[12] In June 2016 its bank accounts were unfrozen.[13]

In February 2018 Ukraine secured $250 million of U.S. funding to build a spent nuclear fuel storage facility, which will avoid the need ship spent nuclear fuel to Russia.[14]

In March 2018 Energoatom stated that electricity prices were too low to cover the cost of new nuclear fuel, and called for a price increase.[15]

In 2019 Energoatom and Turboatom signed a five year contract to modernise condensers and turbines at a number of Ukrainian nuclear power plants.[16]

Uranium mining[edit]

In 2005 there were 17 deposits on the state balance account.[17] Three of them Vatutine, Central, and Michurinske were being developed, while an ore enrichment factory was being built at Novokostiantyniv.[17] Number of deposits are exhausted (i.e. Devladove, Zhovtorichenske, Pershotravneve, Bratske).[18][17]

List of reactors[edit]

All of Ukraine's RBMK reactors (the type involved in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster) were located at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. All of the reactors there have been shut down, leaving only the much safer VVER reactors operating in the country.[1] Three of the reactors listed were built in post-independence Ukraine, with the first one of these being constructed in 1995; the other sixteen reactors the country inherited from the Soviet Union.

Nuclear power plants in Ukraine (view)
Location dot red.svg Active plants
Location dot purple.svg Closed plants
Location dot black.svg Unfinished plants

Active plants with power generating capabilities[edit]

Name Location Type Capacity, MWe Operational Notes
Khmelnytsky Netishyn VVER 1000 1987-
VVER 1000 2004-
VVER 1000 construction started in 1986 is frozen
VVER 1000 construction started in 1987 is frozen
Rivne Varash VVER 440 1980-
VVER 440 1981-
VVER 1000 1986-
VVER 1000 2004-
South Ukraine Yuzhnoukrainsk VVER 1000 1982-
VVER 1000 1985-
VVER 1000 1989-
VVER 1000 construction started in 1987 is frozen
Zaporizhzhia Enerhodar VVER 1000 1984- largest nuclear power plant in Europe
VVER 1000 1985-
VVER 1000 1986-
VVER 1000 1987-
VVER 1000 1989-
VVER 1000 1995-
Total Ukraine VVER 13819 1981 (1978)-

Research reactors[edit]

Name Location Type Capacity, MWe Operational Notes
Sevastopol University Sevastopol IR-100 [uk] 100 1967- ceased by the Russian Federation
Institute for Nuclear Research NASU Kyiv VVR-M [uk] 10 1960-
Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology Kharkiv The source of neutrons 2016-

Unfinished and closed plants[edit]

Chyhyryn NPP (draft)
Name Location Type Capacity, MWe Operational Notes
Chernobyl NPP Pripyat RBMK 1000 1977-1996
RBMK 1000 1978-1991 stopped after the 1991 accident
RBMK 1000 1981-2000
RBMK 1000 1984-1986 exploded in the Chernobyl accident
RBMK 1000 construction started in 1981, it was frozen 1987
RBMK 1000 construction started in 1981, it was frozen 1987
Crimean NPP Shcholkine VVER 950 construction started in 1982, it was frozen 1989
VVER 950 construction started in 1983, it was frozen 1989
VVER 950 plans
VVER 950 plans
Odessa NTEC Teplodar VVER 940 preparations ceased in 1989
VVER 940 preparations ceased in 1989
Kharkiv NTEC Birky VVER 940 preparations started in 1986, it was frozen 1989
VVER 940 preparations started in 1986, it was frozen 1989
VVER 940 plans
VVER 940 plans
Chyhyryn NPP Orbita VVER 1000 plans scratched in 1989
VVER 1000 plans scratched in 1989
VVER 1000 plans scratched in 1989
VVER 1000 plans scratched in 1989

Anti-nuclear movement[edit]

Anti-nuclear picket in Kiev

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Nuclear fuel imports from Sweden account for 41.6% in H1, balance from Russia, UNIAN (22 August 2016)
  2. ^ "PRIS - Country Details: Ukraine". Retrieved 2016-01-08.
  3. ^ Energoatom chief Kim overstepped his powers when signing contract, failed to show up for questioning, says interior minister, Interfax-Ukraine (12 June 2013)
  4. ^ a b "Nuclear Power in Ukraine". World Nuclear Association. Retrieved 2007-12-22.
  5. ^ "Ukraine". Energy Information Administration (EIA). US government. Archived from the original on 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2007-12-22.
  6. ^ Black, Richard (2011-04-12). "''Fukushima: As Bad as Chernobyl?''". Retrieved 2011-08-20.
  7. ^ From interviews with Mikhail Gorbachev, Hans Blix and Vassili Nesterenko. The Battle of Chernobyl. Discovery Channel. Relevant video locations: 31:00, 1:10:00.
  8. ^ "Westinghouse and Ukraine's Energoatom extend nuclear fuel contract". Archived from the original on 2014-04-23. Retrieved 2014-04-23.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
    Westinghouse CEO: We are ready to put our fuel in all of Ukraine’s NPP, UNIAN (28 October 2015)
  9. ^ "Ukraine signs new fuel contract with Westinghouse". Nuclear Engineering International. 1 February 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Ukraine aims to complete safety upgrade program in 2020". World Nuclear News. 7 August 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Energoatom chief recalls highs and lows of first half-year". World Nuclear News. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Continued Ukraine-Russia tensions over fuel". Nuclear Engineering International. 7 June 2016. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Energoatom's accounts unblocked". Interfax-Ukraine. 29 June 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  14. ^ "Ukraine secures US funding for storage facility". World Nuclear News. 15 February 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2018.
  15. ^ "Energoatom counts cost of regulatory changes". World Nuclear News. 19 March 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Energoatom, Turboatom sign contract for modernizing Ukraine's nuclear power plants". Kyiv Post. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  17. ^ a b c About economic feasibility to attract investments in exploration and development of uranium deposits in Ukraine. Ukrainian geological projects.
  18. ^ Sieroi, S. Uranium plus gold, is that a solution to crisis? "Den". 22 May 1998.

External links[edit]

News media[edit]