Under the chairmanship of acting Minister of Energy Olha Buslavets there took place a meeting with Vice President of "Holtec International" Riaz Awan and Energoatom NNEGC management, initiated by "Holtec International" due to Energoatom's breach of contractual terms within the project of building a Central Spent Fuel Storage Facility (CSFSF).
"The construction of the CSFSF is the most substantial project in the field of nuclear energy in Ukraine. With the commissioning of its domestic storage facility, Ukraine will lose its monopoly dependence on Russia in the context of spent nuclear fuel storage. In addition, our state, using its storage, will be able to save about US$ 200 million a year, the sum which is now transferred to the Russian Federation," said Olga Buslavets.
According to the current schedule, the first stage of storage should be launched in December this year. And acting President of NNEGC Energoatom Petro Kotin assured that the schedule will be met. At the same time, he pointed out the problems that could significantly affect the construction and prevent the timely completion of the project.
In particular, it is necessary to build railway tracks to the storage facility in the forest area, which is managed by the State Agency on Exclusion Zone Management, for the use of CSFSF. To do this, it is necessary to get permission from the State Agency to remove the trees and to enable Ukrzaliznytsia to build the railway. Such works, for technical reasons, can be carried out only in the warm season. To date, this issue has not been resolved.
These problems could be avoided if Energoatom involved representatives of the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources in a meeting of the Steering Committee for the construction of the CSFSF, which had been held monthly until the spring of this year.
As a result of the meeting, the Ministry of Energy issued a number of commissions to NNEGC Energoatom regarding the timely completion of the construction of the storage facility.
In particular, Energoatom is obliged to:
- intensify work on project implementation;
- report weekly on the state of construction, existing problems and the status of their solution;
- submit weekly reports to the Ministry of Energy, Holtec International and JSC KIEP on the status of settlements within the project implementation;
- to resume the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Energy in the meetings of the committee;
- update the construction schedule for the CSFSF.