20:28 GMT +321 January 2020
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    As unit two of Ukraine's largest nuclear power plant, Zaporozhye, was connected to the nation's power grid after repairs, a Russian political analyst evaluates the state of Ukraine's nuclear industry, finding that since the break-up with Russia, Ukraine, far from taking its nuclear safety seriously, has been "experimenting" with its power stations.

    On Thursday, Energoatom, Ukraine's nuclear power plant operator, announced that unit 2 of the country's largest nuclear power plant (NPP) Zaporozhye was plugged back into the power grid after repairs on it were finished.

    Commenting on the announcement, Russian political analyst Andrei Suzdaltsev told Radio Sputnik that the country's nuclear industry is in dire straits after Kiev broke ties with Russia.

    "Ukrainian nuclear experts undertook repairs to Zaporozhye NPP by themselves. They had to somehow manage using only local resources and local equipment," he told Sputnik.

    Zaporozhye nuclear power plant
    © Sputnik / Falin
    Zaporozhye nuclear power plant

    Suzdaltsev also commented on the statement of the plant's leadership that Unit 2's lifetime has been prolonged for ten more years, until February, 2026.

    "I doubt that it could be extended for a decade. Yes, they might have fixed some minor damage, however what they are doing now is patching the holes rather than anything substantial," he said.

    The political analyst reminded that the energy complex of nuclear power stations in Ukraine is the legacy of the Soviet Union. After the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine has not built a single unit, and is only exploiting what it inherited.

    This legacy, he said, includes the personnel. Throughout all the years of its independence, Ukraine has never allocated money on a substantial reconstruction and maintenance of its nuclear power plants.

    Meanwhile, Kiev might be placing its hopes on US technological support, the political analyst suggested.

    "Taking into account that the Ukrainian nuclear industry is stalling without Russian technical support, it might try to refocus its nuclear energy around the support of the American Westinghouse Electric Corporation," Suzdaltsev said.

    "It is an old story: American manufactured nuclear fuel elements are being loaded into the Soviet nuclear power units," he explained.

    However he added that rather than approaching this important problem seriously, they are carrying out experiments: "let's try it this way." As the result, there have already been problems, accidents and failures.

    "The Americans are now spending all their time in Ukraine, as there is a huge market which has opened up for them by pushing out Russia." the political analyst said.

    He said that in this way, Ukraine hopes to get technological support from the US.

    "However if anything happens they will blame Russia, as it participated in the construction of the stations," the political analyst said.

    Earlier in June, Energoatom unveiled that it was going to load Westinghouse nuclear fuel elements into six units of its nuclear power plants: two units of South-Ukraine NPP and four units of Zaporozhye NPP.

    Related:

    Ukraine's Nuclear Energy Company, UKRENCO Ink Enriched Uranium Supplies Deal
    Ukraine Resumes Payments to Russia for Reprocessing Used Nuclear Fuel
    Tags:
    nuclear power plants, industry, nuclear, Chernobyl disaster, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Andrei Suzdaltsev, United States, Russia, Ukraine
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