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Electricity generation in Ukraine

Energy mix:

In Ukraine, thermal power plants (oil, natural gas, coal) account for nearly 50 percent of generation, with nuclear power generating another 45 percent, and hydroelectric generation accounting for approximately 5 percent.

Ukraine has sufficient generating capacity to supply more than twice its electricity needs. However, the country's transmission and distribution systems are in need of investment and maintenance. Also, several of the country's nuclear facilities are intermittently shut down throughout the year for technical problems. With the surplus electricity, in 2006 Ukraine increased electricity exports by almost 25 percent.

Operating NPPs:

In 2004, the following reactors were in operation:

  • two VVER-440 and
  • thirteen VVER-1000

Proportion of nuclear power

In 2006, Ukraine's nuclear power plants generated 49,9% of the total electricity generation in Ukraine. The portion of the nuclear capacity in Ukraine's energy structure is 46,9 %.

Shutdown of last RBMK reactor

In December 2000, Chernobyl 3 - the last operating RBMK reactor in Ukraine - was finally shut down.

Energy consumption

Ukraine is one of Europe’s largest energy consumers, and it consumes over twice as much energy per unit of GDP than Germany. In 2005, almost half of Ukraine’s energy consumption came from natural gas, and over 75 percent of this natural gas came from Russia. Since 2004, the price of imported natural gas from Russia has almost doubled. The economic impact of these price increases on the economy will depend on the pace at which Ukraine can implement energy efficiency reforms.

Developments in the nuclear sector

2010, Dec: Completion of nuclear reactors at Khmelnytska NPP means neglecting the security

"Kyiv, 14 December, 2010. – The National Ecological Centre of Ukraine considers the country's government plans on further construction of Unit-3 and Unit-4 at Khmelnytska Nuclear Power Plant to be risky and irrelevant. The experts from the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine released the results of the research [1] on the irrationality of further construction of two power units at Khmelnytska NPP.

Construction of Unit-3 and Unit-4 at Khmelnytska NPP had started back in 1985. Construction stopped after the announcement of a moratorium on the construction of nuclear facilities following the Chernobyl accident. Based on the results of the tender in 2008, reactors of different design are planned to be installed on the old structures. This can be dangerous because the new design of VVER-1000/V-392 reactor facility contains some design differences, which makes the project essentially more complicated. Moreover, VVER-1000/V-392 model was not implemented in anywhere in the world, so attempts to install unverified reactor facility raises the risk of its operation.

There are doubts as to durability and reliability of existing infrastructures which have not been treated for preservation and just have been standing idle in the open air for quarter century.

"Attempts to use structures, most of which were damaged by fire in 1989, and many premises located below zero line are water-covered, look like speculative activities in respect of security and as a "Russian roulette" game. It becomes clear that the type of reactor was chosen without regard to its ability to be placed into the existing structures", - says energy program coordinator of the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine Arthur Denisenko.

The world already witnessed a similar situation in Bulgaria, where there have been the unfinished units of Belene NPP since the Soviet Union. After the examination of the structures (which, unlike Ukrainian have been treated for preservation) the commission decided on complete removal of existing infrastructure for new units. The dismantling costs made up EUR 112,000,000, which appeared to be cheaper than "adjusting" old structures for new reactor systems.

Moreover, there are no economic needs for the completion of two units at Khmelnytska NPP: there is excess of electric power in Ukraine and no expected growth of consumption occurs. Even during the peak of electricity consumption, in late February 2010, five of the fifteen operating units did not transmit electric power into the grid.

"Costs for completion of two unnecessary reactors would be borne by ordinary people through electricity tariffs and budgetary allocations to overcome the effects of the nuclear industry operation", - noted the expert on energy issues from NECU Dmytro Khmara.

According to preliminary estimates, the construction of Unit-3 and Unit-4 at Khmelnytska NPP would need about UAH 30 billion (approx. Euro 3 bln). According to environmentalists, this money would be better invested in energy efficiency and energy saving measures.


The provision for further construction of two units at Khmelnytska NPP is made in the Energy Strategy of Ukraine by 2030 which from the first day of its approval was much-criticized because of inflated estimates of economic growth and energy consumption. In April 2010, the Government of Ukraine approved the agreement with Russia for units further construction crediting."

source: Arthur Denisenko, National Ecological Centre of Ukraine

2005, Dec.: Construction of radioactive waste facility

In December 2005 Premier Juschtschenko announced to build a radwaste facility and storage in Chernobyl. He wants to reduce the costs that are paid to Russia for disposal of the Ukrainian radioactive waste (80 Mill $ per year).

2005, May: Plan to build 11 new NPPs

In May 2005 Prime Minister Julia Timoschenko together with the national nuclear society Energoatom announced that in the next 25 years 11 new NPPs will be built in Ukraine.

2004: Khmelnitsky-2 and Rowno-4 start operation
2002: Loan for completion of Khmelnitsky-2 and Rowno-4

Especially the completion of unit 2 Khmelnitsky and unit 4 at the Rowno (K2R4) is internationally criticised.

In summer 2002 Russia had announced to lend Ukraine $44 million to invest in completing the construction of K2R4.The Ukrainian and the Russian Prime Minister agreed that the loan would be repaid over six years and that during the first three years Ukraine will pay only the interest. Under the agreement, Russia will supply equipment and parts to the nuclear power stations during 2002-2004.

There are protests against the signing of the agreements to complete the construction of the Khmelnitsky and Rowno nuclear power plants. The protesters demand that the financing and construction of the power plants be terminated, as this does not meet Ukraine's strategic interests and could lead to grave political, economic, and ecological consequences, the press centre of the Ukrainian public committee of national security said. The participants in the protests have called on Ukrainian and Russian Prime Ministers Anatoly Kinakh and Mikhail Kasyanov, who should discuss Russia's allocation of money for the completion of the nuclear power plants, to jointly work on modernizing and increasing the efficiency of the already operating nuclear plants instead.

Because of the gas crisis in 2005 Premier Juschtschenko announced in January 2006 that until 2001 the Ukraine should become independent from imports of Russian natural gas. Until now Ukraine sends uranium to Russia where it is enriched, and Russia sends back fuel rods. Now Juschtschenko wants Ukraine to enrich its own uranium. Because in the enrichment process weapon grade plutonium is accumulated this plan was internationally criticized.

The Ukrainian power plants continued operation in 1999 in spite of the lack of fossil fuel and large scale non-payments for the electricity supplied. It resulted in critical impacts on reliability and safety of the Ukraine's energy system performance at large. Financial restrictions in the nuclear industry do not allow organizing the purchase of the nuclear fuel in timely manner.

1996: New National Energy Program

In 1996, Ukraine adopted a National Energy Program that includes planes for

  • NPP's safety improvement;
  • commissioning of new power units;
  • establishing of nuclear fuel cycle;
  • spent fuel storage, reprocessing and disposal of radioactive wastes.

Implementation of this Program by the year 2010 will cost Ukraine Hr 9,139.00.

1994 - 1999: Modernisation of WWER NPPs

Over 1994 - 1999 a number of measures were implemented on WWER NPPs, e.g.

  • erection of racks for compacted spent fuel storage;
  • implementation of schemes for Emergency Core Cooling System' (ECCS) tanks heating;
  • battery replacement;
  • modernization of transfer opening seal;
  • detailed technical design was elaborated for a new I&C system development;
  • work on the probabilistic safety analysis (PSA) is going on;
  • development of the symptom-oriented emergency operating instructions and their design calculations.

In 1999 the nuclear power plants of Ukraine carried out activities on safety improvement, reconstruction and modernization in compliance with the Plans of Safety Improvement. It was planned to implement 1257 activities on safety improvement, reconstruction and modernization of the operational power units. Out of them 302 activities were completed, 606 activities were performed partially, 349 activities were not competed due to the insufficient funding of the industry by Energomarket. The highest share of implemented activities took place at Zaporoshje, the lowest one at Rowno NPP.

Sites With Nuclear Facilities

siteplantreactor typconstruction startoperation startshut down
ChernobylChernobyl-1RBMK 1000197219771996
Chernobyl-2RBMK 1000197319781991
Chernobyl-3RBMK 1000197719812000
Chernobyl-4RBMK 1000197919831986
KhmelnitskyKhmelnitsky-1WWER 100019811987
Khmelnitsky-2WWER 100019852004
Khmelnitsky-3WWER 10001986
Khmelnitsky-4WWER 10001987
RownoRowno-1WWER 440 V21319761980
Rowno-2WWER 440 V21319771981
Rowno-3WWER 100019811986
Rowno-4 WWER 100019862004
South UkraineSouth Ukraine-1WWER 100019771982
South Ukraine-2WWER 100019791985
South Ukraine-3WWER 100019851989
South Ukraine-4WWER 10001987
ZaporoshjeZaporoshje-1WWER 100019801984
Zaporoshje-2WWER 100019811985
Zaporoshje-3WWER 100019821986
Zaporoshje-4WWER 100019841987
Zaporoshje-5WWER 100019851989
Zaporoshje-6WWER 100019861995