Nuclear power of Ukraine dates back to 1977, when the first Chornobyl NPP unit was put into operation. According to the plans of nuclear power development 9 nuclear power plants had to be built in the former USSR at the territory of Ukraine. In the period from 1977 till 1989 it was planned to put into operation 16 units with total capacity of 14800MW at 5 nuclear power plants, which were Zaporizhzhya NPP, Khmelnytsky NPP, Chornobyl NPP and South-Ukraine NPP.

Increasing demand for electricity encouraged the fast construction of nuclear power units: 10 units, 8 of which with capacity of 1000 MW (four VVER-1000 reactors and four RBMK-1000 reactors) were in the operation at the time of technogenic accident at the fourth unit of Chornobyl NPP in April 1986 in Ukraine. From 1986 and till 1990 6 nuclear power units with the capacity of 1000MW each were put into operation: three units at Zaporizhzhya NPP and one unit for each nuclear power plant, which are South-Ukraine, Rivne and Khmelnytsky NPP. However after Chortnobyl NPP accident, In August, 1990 Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine declared a moratorium on the construction and commissioning of new nuclear power units , which resulted in suspension of the construction of new units at Khmelnytsky, Zaporizhzhya and Rivne NPP.

After Verkhovna Rada called off the moratorium, the questions concerning the renewing and restructuring of uncompleted units arose. Construction and putting into operation were important first of all to compensate for the capacity of the units, which had exhausted their lifetime, replacement of units, which did not meet current safety requirements.

In 1993 operation at 6th unit of Zaporizhzhya NPP, 4th unit of Rivne NPP and 2nd unit of Khmelnytsky NPP were resumed.

In October, 1995 it was energy startup of the 6th unit of Zaporizhzhya NPP. Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant with installed capacity of 6 million kW became the biggest one in Europe.

On October 17, 1996 the national enterprise National Energy Generating Company – “Energoatom” was established according to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Chornobyl NPP is the first Ukrainian nuclear power plant, the operation of which was suspended till the end of the design lifetime. Nowadays three units of the plant with RBMK-1000 reactors are at the stage of decommissioning; particularly 2nd unit from 1991 after the fire in turbine hall, 1st unit from 1996 according to the decision of Ukrainian Government, 3rd unit was stopped in the end of 2000.

According to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers dated April 25, 2001 № 399 Chornobyl NPP was separated from the NEGC “Energoatom”. It was assigned a status of national specialized enterprise.

After the shutdown of Chornobyl NPP, in Ukraine there are 4 nuclear power plants with VVER reactors in operation: Zaporizhzhya NPP, Rivne NPP, Khmelnytsky NPP and South-Ukraine NPP, here 15 nuclear energy units with installed capacity of 13835 MW operate.

The history of the state nuclear regulation authority of Ukraine

In December 1991, nuclear power enterprises were combined into the Ukratomenergoprom Concern, which in January 1993 was converted into the State Nuclear Energy Committee of Ukraine – Derzhkomatom of Ukraine.

According to the President’s Decree of 15 December 1994, the State Nuclear Energy Committee of Ukraine and the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Ukraine were liquidated to make way for the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety. The Chief State Nuclear Safety Inspectorate was created in the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety for direct monitoring of nuclear and radiation safety area. In 1999, a separate unit named the State Nuclear Regulatory Administration of Ukraine was formed in the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety of Ukraine.

On 15 December 1999, according to the President’s Decree “On Changes in the Structure of Central Executive Bodies”, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety and the State Nuclear Regulatory Administration were liquidated to create a new executive body – the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine. The Ministry established two subdivisions: Nuclear Regulatory Department and Chief State Nuclear Safety Inspectorate.

In December 2000, according to the President’s Decree “On State Regulation of Nuclear and Radiation Safety”, the State Nuclear Regulatory Committee of Ukraine was created as a central executive authority with a special status was created instead of the Chief State Nuclear Safety Inspectorate and the Nuclear Regulatory Department of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources.

According to the President’s Decree of 6 April 2011 “On Provision on the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate”, the State Nuclear Regulatory Committee of Ukraine was renamed into the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate (SNRIU).

The basic SNRIU tasks are as follows:

1) develop and implement state policy in nuclear safety area;

2) ensure state regulation of nuclear safety;

3) fulfill duties of the competent authority on physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear facilities in accordance with the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities; on safe transport of radioactive material in accordance with rules of nuclear and radiation safety during transport of radioactive material; on emergency warning and notification in accordance with the Convention on the Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident.

Unit №
Type reactor
Installed power capacity (MW)
Start date
End of the project lifetime
SS “ZAPORIZHZHYA NPP”
1
VVER 1000/320
1000
10.12.1084
23.12.2015
(extended till 23.12.2025)
2
VVER 1000/320
1000
22.07.1985
19.02.2016
(extended till 19.02.2026)
3
VVER 1000/320
1000
10.12.1986
05.03.2017
4
VVER 1000/320
1000
18.12.1987
04.04.2018
5
VVER 1000/320
1000
14.08.1989
27.05.2020
6
VVER 1000/320
1000
19.10.1995
21.10.2026
SS “RIVNE NPP”
1
VVER 440/213
420
22.12.1980
22.12.2010
(extended till 22.12.2030)
2
VVER 440/213
415
22.12.1981
22.12.2011
(extended till 22.12.2031)
3
VVER 1000/320
1000
21.12.1986
11.12.2017
4
VVER 1000/320
1000
10.10.2004
07.06.2035
SS “SOUTH-UKRAINE NPP”
1
VVER 1000/302
1000
31.12.1982
02.12.2013
(extended till 02.12.2023)
2
VVER 1000/338
1000
06.01.1985
12.05.2015
(extended till 31.12.2025)
3
VVER 1000/320
1000
20.09.1989
10.02.2020
SS “KHMELNYTSKA NPP”
1
VVER 1000/320
1000
22.12.1987
13.12.2018
2
VVER 1000/320
1000
08.08.2004
07.09.2035

For a long period of time nuclear power has provided significant part of the general electricity generation in Ukraine (to 60%). Currently, the detailed safety analysis of power units in operation is carried out for all power units. The results of the analysis show that:

  • The power units are safely operated with acceptable level of risk. Safety requirements of the reactor units, which are envisaged by the design, scientific and technical documentation and international practices, are fulfilled in sufficient scope.
  • Detected safety deficiencies and deviations from the requirements of normative documents allow to operate the power units in the design framework and do not require shutdown of power units in order to rectify them.

Sources:

  1. NNEGC “Energoatom”
  2. State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine