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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Pub1ication Data. Marp1es, David R. Chemoby1 and nuclear power in the USSR. Bibliography: p. USSR? Are there nuclear plants in a similar condition, facing similar dilemmas with supply and a lack of qualified and a surplus of dissatisfied workers?


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Evidently he only had fifteen men in the unit and called immediately for reinforcements. The fact that Teliatnikov had been brought to a Moscow hospital suggested that he was among the most severely injured, but the article focused on his bravery rather than the in- juries he might have sustained. At that time the reactor, which was un- dergoing a planned maintenance shutdown, was at seven per cent power level.

As a result of the explosions, two people lost their lives, one from hot steam burns, the other of injuries from falling objects. So far there are only hypotheses regarding the specific reasons for the accident. Research and detailed analysis are under way. Records of data from the control room were recovered after the accident and are being studied. Rosen thus indicated that ultimately the precise cause of the accident would be known and that the reactor was not at its normal capacity when the accident took place.

As for the evacuation, it had begun on 27 April, beginning with women and children, and up to 48, people were evacuated from loca- tions within a kilometre radius. As a preventive measure, potassium iodine tablets were widely distributed inside as well as outside the kilometre zone. Two hundred and four per- sons, including nuclear power station personnel and firefighters, were af- fected by radiation from first degree to fourth degree, 18 persons being in the fourth degree.

All persons were hospitalized in Moscow and treated medically. In some cases bone marrow transplants were performed. In general, however, the Soviet authorities were still very concerned to demonstrate that the worst was over and that no real danger was posed from radiation almost two weeks after the accident had occurred.

Pimenenko, assured listeners that: In the most general terms one can say the following. The radiation in the atmosphere, which already presents no danger, is on a downward trend. The water is virtually pure. With regard to the soil we are conducting our usual observations.

The account sounded similar to others about the Soviet nuclear power in- dustry presented before the Chernobyl accident took place. While the world still did not know the full extent of the radioactive fallout, one source reported that by 9 May, the level in Kiev had fallen considerably.

More information about the radiation in the atmosphere after the disas- ter was released by Radios Prague and Moscow on 10 May. Radio Prague , which had steadfastly and rigidly adhered to the Soviet line in all its statements about Chernobyl, quoted a Soviet official as stating that iodine- had escaped from the damaged Chernobyl reactor and that this isotope was dangerous because it could enter the human organism through food.

While the essence of the inter- view was broadcast by both Moscow and Prague radios, only the latter included the reference to the iodine And yet, work on the damaged reactor was still continuing. Here is one excerpt.

I heard Academician Velikhov say just now that a historic event occurred today: Silaiev. Well, in the main he is right. We have come to the conclusion today that the basic, main danger has been eliminated. Today we can already work more calmly, insofar as what the world predicted, in particular the western bourgeois newspapers that shouted from the rooftops that a colossal catastrophe was about to hap- pen— today this does not threaten us.

We are today firmly convinced that the danger is passed. Krutov : These photographs are the latest received from the station, are they not? Yes, these are the latest. No, they are not the latest, the latest photographs are much calmer. Where are they? As you can see, this shows a completely calm state.

This remarkable dialogue on a Soviet television programme highlights its chief concern: to show the viewer that the main danger at Chernobyl was now over. Later in the day, TASS gave another announcement from the Council, stating that measures had been put into practice to encase the reactor at the fourth power- generating set in concrete, and gave reas- suring information that there had been no change in the already safe levels of radiation in Ukraine and Belorussia.

Again, the impression is that the crisis had been surmounted. In many respects, this was a simplistic and transparent approach, par- ticularly in view of the long-term effects of radiation. In fact, 11 May might have marked the beginning of the Chernobyl affair.

The explosion. Sichkarenko and A. Shapoval— have es- sentially done nothing to help the people under their jurisdiction or to pro- vide them with work. Find- ing himself in Polesskyi raion among subordinates evacuated from Prypiat, A. As a result of these deficiencies, Shapoval was expelled from the party, while Sichkarenko was strictly reprimanded and had his party card endorsed by the Prypiat city committee session.

Both were removed from their posts. This statement contradicted earlier Soviet assurances about the model way in which the entire evacuation had been conducted. It was yet another event concerning which the real situation only emerged with the passage of time. The latter was said to have been at the scene within ninety minutes of the accident. Courageous helicopter crews carried out hundreds of flights and, in incredibly difficult conditions, the core of the fourth unit was sealed off by means of an enormous stopper, composed of sand and other materials, weighing in excess of 5, metric tonnes Military helicopters overfly the station several times a day even now.

As for Soviet workers, Gor- bachev praised their part in overcoming a stem test that had taken the lives of V. Shashenok, an adjustor of automatic systems and V. Khodemchuk, an operator, and led to radiation poisoning for people, seven of whom had already died.

While commenting that all nations in- volved in the production of nuclear power should co-operate with the IAEA, particularly with early warnings about radiation leaks, Gorbachev was careful not to apply any criticism to the way in which the disaster was handled by the Soviet authorities. This reflects the sensitive nature of the subject and Gorbachev was apparently unwilling to say anything that might appear to compromise the nuclear power build-up in the USSR and Eastern Europe, which, as will be shown below, is perceived as of the utmost importance to the fu- ture of the Soviet Union.

Only by May had full emergency measures been undertaken and by this date, precautionary actions such as the banning of street vendors in Kiev, stringent norms imposed on all agricultural prod- ucts and dosimetric check-ups throughout the city, were at last in effect.

Those involved in international assistance to the victims of Chernobyl, such as the Los Angeles bone marrow specialist. None of this is in dispute. What is inexplicable is the failure of the Soviets to report the event or to take any kind of action in the first hours, and even the first days after the accident occurred. One would have expected the Soviet authorities to have been reluctant to divulge information, initially.

This is ingrained in the sys- tem, habitual. But one would have anticipated that in an industry which is currently the subject of a massive expansion and build-up that the pos- sibility of an accident would have been foreseen and taken into account. Why was there insufficient transport at Prypiat, or at least Chernobyl, for example? Why were two reactors built so closely together, so that an ac- cident at one endangered the other? Why was the Chernobyl fourth reac- tor inadequately contained, as was clearly the case?

In addition to industrial safety drawbacks, one has to account for the apparent disregard for safety after the event. Why were the May-Day celebrations in Kiev and the opening leg of the Kiev-Prague bicycle race allowed to take place? The Soviet authorities were hardly in a position to predict the direction of the wind, even from hour to hour, and we know from the appearance of Soviet environmental leaders in Warsaw that they were fully aware of the existing dangers.

By these ac- tions, Soviet leaders put in jeopardy the health of over 2. An attempt at answering the lack of information aspect was made by Georgii Arbatov, the engaging head of the Institute for the Study of the United States and Canada, who held a series of interviews on 8 May, by which time he had presumably been well primed by his superiors: Novosti: Many people in the Western mass media accuse the Soviet Union of providing belated information about the accident.

What can you say on that score? The situation required thorough check-ups, only dependable in- formation, based on hard facts and instrument data, could be made public. First of all, endangered people had to be rescued. That accounted for many complications in studying the accident cause right after the event.

American specialists, for instance, are still investigating the Challenger tragedy. This explanation was hardly satisfactory. On 6 May, Pravda had in- formed readers that on the day of the accident the Chernobyl meteorological station monitored high radiation levels at the nuclear plant. At this point, the authorities could have alerted both their own citizens and neighbouring countries. Could one then say that the initial crisis at Chernobyl was a result of an information embargo imposed by a closed totalitarian society?

The an- swer is that this is only part of the truth. After all, even though the gov- ernment did not immediately ascertain the cause of the chemical explo- sion and fire at the plant, it did eventually release a considerable amount of information. What one can say with certainty is that with Chernobyl, the Soviet government had a lot at stake.

Nuclear energy is one of the key expansion areas of the Soviet power industry. The centre of this industry is Soviet Ukraine: Chernobyl happened at the worst possible time and in the worst possible region as far as Soviet leaders were concerned.

The nature of this development will be discussed below. Here it suf- fices to say that Chernobyl cannot be analyzed adequately without a knowledge of the recent developments in the Soviet nuclear energy in- dustry. The significance of this sector goes a long way to explain the var- ious contradictions in Soviet statements following the accident, and the obvious reluctance to say anything that might prejudice the future of the industry.

To their own citizens and to the world at large, the Soviet au- thorities tried to convey the impression in the first days after the disaster that the situation was under control. But as the disaster grew in dimen- sions, the Soviet leaders eventually were obliged to take the precau- tionary actions that were either ignored or rejected earlier.

Was this an assault on the Soviet citizen? Or on Ukraine and Ukrain- ians specifically? Ultimately, no. It illustrated the priorities of a bureau- cratic state; that to the Soviets, the economy of the country took precedence in every situation. But it can be argued that a healthy econ- omy is essential to the future of the Soviet people, i.

Only by comprehending such an attitude can the reader begin to understand the aftermath of Chernobyl and the release of vital information in such a painstaking fashion. Chernobyl was a symbol of the nuclear industry; by , it would have been the largest nuclear plant in the USSR, and it was visible proof that the industry could provide a short-cut to success, a means for a major technological advance in the latter part of the century, away from the tra- ditional Soviet reliance on fossil fuels into the nuclear era.

The dif- ficulties that have arisen in this sphere have been a result less of the amount of raw material supplies than of the expenditures required to ex- tract and transport them to the principal consuming areas in the European part of the Soviet Union. Specialists consider that it is not profitable to expand production [of these resources] to the same major proportions as before — in the last decade, expenditure on the recovery of each metric tonne has increased by a factor of three.

The quotation was not strictly accurate, in that there are also plentiful coal supplies in the huge Donbass coalfield that stretches through Donetsk, Voroshilovhrad and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts of Ukraine into Rostov oblast of the Russian republic. Semeniuk, in November Coal remains the principal organic fuel. But the scale of its use is limited first and foremost by the complex conditions of its extraction.

Suffice it to state here that of the three major energy resources in the Soviet Union: oil, coal and gas, only the latter has given cause for optimism over the past few years. And yet, gas reserves are to be preserved as one of the more reliable means of obtaining hard currency from the West in the fu- ture for the USSR.

The extraction of gas is to be raised by almost one- third by the end of the century, but this is a relatively modest increase. The Ukrainian SSR has long remained one of the main industrial regions of the Soviet Union, especially for its production of coal, steel and chemicals. An energy imbalance was created, whereby the Moscow gov- ernment used the republic as a vital raw-material source, and exploited these resources almost recklessly, as the Soviet leaders have now con- ceded.

Not only does Ukraine possess iron ore, coal and uranium in plentiful supply, it is also located close to the centre of the Soviet market. For the purposes of this study, the major problem in the Ukrainian en- ergy sector is the Donetsk coalfield, traditionally the principal source of Ukrainian energy supplies. Stagnation in this coalfield is an important reason for the widespread development of nuclear energy in the Ukrain- ian SSR, as a replacement for fossil fuels.

In theory, this problem should not have arisen because the Donetsk is not about to run out of coal. Yet for a number of reasons, both geological and man-induced, coal-mining no longer has a viable future in Ukraine. Nuclear energy has been handed its mantle. Although the Donetsk coalfield has enough reserves to last another years at the current rate of exploitation, it possesses several major disadvantages.

First, not only is most of the remaining coal contained in seams less than 1. The lack of equipment to resolve this predicament means that a large amount of waste material is mined along with the coal, leading to an increased ash content. Second, the Donetsk mines are very deep. A report of September stated that 27 per cent of mining in the coalfield was carried out at depths of about one kilometre and that by , most of the seams being worked are expected to be at depths of 1, to 1, metres.

Liashko, the Chairman of the Ukrainian Council of Min- isters, stated that the new seams of coal that were being exploited in the coalfield were at depths of 1,, metres. As long ago as , Vladimir Klebanov, who was then a shift foreman in the Donetsk coalfield, refused to send miners to work at the pitface because of their inadequate safety equipment.

Min- ing in the Donetsk region is becoming ever more dangerous and yet the miners are obliged to put in seven-day weeks and long daily hours just in order to maintain current output levels. There have been a number of debates about the future of the Donetsk coalfield, which ultimately influenced the decision to boost nuclear en- ergy production in the USSR, using Ukraine as the main base of develop- ment.

The prospects for the Soviet coal industry as a whole were consid- ered reasonable in the mids, when a forecast of million tonnes was made for the end of the Ninth Five-Year Plan. By , total output of coal was only million tonnes, but once again the prog- nostications were optimistic at million tonnes. But while the outlook for the coal industry as a whole and for the Donetsk coalfield in particular seems gloomy, Ukrainian officials have long pleaded its case strongly and eloquently.

In the winter of , the debate was carried over onto the pages of lzvestiia when Coal Minister Hrynko argued a case for the future of the Donetsk coalfield. This lack of opportunity was a direct result, according to Hrynko, of a shortfall in investment: a failure to replenish the mining fund, or to pro- vide new equipment for old mines that have been left for two decades without such attention.

The old Donetsk, in his view, had been neglected by central planners, and the implication was that these same planners had followed the advice of specialists in concentrating on the use of Siberian rather than Donetsk coal in Soviet industry. Having made a case for the Donetsk, Hrynko then embarked on a very realistic critique of the Siberian coalfields, one that has subsequently been echoed in a number of Soviet publications that have tried to as- certain the reasons why with all their natural advantages the Siberian fields have been less productive than envisaged.

First, the Siberian coalfields were lacking in construction person- nel— about ,, extra people were required there. When transport costs are taken into account, Hrynko pointed out, there would be no difference in extracting coal from the Donetsk field, in spite of the obvious mounting geological difficulties in Ukraine. This remark was given further backing by a Radio Moscow broadcast 24 January , which observed that 5 million tonnes of coal a year are lost during transport by railway.

In late October , he was removed from office. In , the future of the opencast coal mines of the East was being painted in glow- ing colours somewhat akin to those used to describe the future of nuclear energy in the USSR today.

Yet the outlook for coal was considered good. Oil and gas were to be used to a greater extent as technological raw materials, and this would lead to the increased importance of coal in the fuel balance, primarily the coal mined from opencast workings strip-mining. It declared that in the year , this coalfield alone would account for almost million tonnes of fuel, including 60 million tonnes of highly valuable coking coal. This move seemed logical, given the unparalleled geological dif- ficulties facing exploitation of the Donetsk.

According to Pravda, labour productivity at the opencast mines was three times that of underground mines, while the unit cost of the fuel extracted was 50 per cent less. Even in the period, the share of the Donetsk coalfield as a supplier of coal for the central electric power stations of the USSR had begun to decline, from Simultaneously the share of the Siberian and Kazakhstan coalfields rose.

The Ekibastuz coalfield of northern Kazakhstan supplanted the Donetsk as the largest supplier of coal to Soviet power stations during this period, with In some respects, there was an inevitability about the move away from the European USSR to Siberia in coal production, as in other spheres of natural resources. Siberia and northern Kazakhstan possess over 90 per cent of Soviet coal reserves. The main question was how quickly a sig- nificant increase in output could be attained.

In , the Soviet author- ities felt that production at the Kuznetsk coalfield could be raised from to million tonnes, with an ultimate output level of million tonnes a year. Together with the Kansk-Achinsk coalfield, the Kuzbass makes up the most important Siberian coal region. But despite its enormous coal reserves, the Eastern region of the USSR has posed substantial problems for the Soviet authorities from the outset, and to date has not been a viable alternative to meet Soviet energy demands.

In both Siberia and Kazakhstan, there has been a fundamental failure to establish well-equipped settlements in these remote and climatically adverse regions. The coal industry of the city also required numerous personnel, including 9, workers and engineers. One of the reasons behind the issue of this decree was the question of transporting Siberian and Kazakhstan coal over great distances to the power stations of the European USSR.

In , the average dis- tance was kilometres; by it had increased to kilometres. A deficit in the production of steam coal in the Donetsk coalfield had neces- sitated increased supplies of coal from the Eastern fields, particularly the Kuznetsk Basin. One proposes to transform the hard coal into liquid coal slurry and to transport it by pipeline rather than railway to the western part of the country. And even in the European part of the country, the transmission lines seem to be in constant need of repair.

The overriding problem with the Siberian and other Eastern coalfields has been their failure thus far to fulfill their output potential. In an article of June , for example, Pravda pointed out that the potential of the Kuznetsk Basin was clearly underexploited, and that for the past five years, the miners had been unable to surpass the million-tonne mark in annual output.

Internal reserves, the newspaper stated, were being brought into use too slowly, and equipment was standing idle for long periods because of chaotic organization. Evidence suggests that in , at the start of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan, the Kuzbass mines were still falling well short of their planned targets.

It laid the blame for this state of affairs on a variety of factors, including water in the mines, transport problems and excessive manual as opposed to machine labour in the mines. Social factors, however, may also have had a major role to play in the disappointing results attained recently in the Eastern coalfields of the USSR.

Most important has been the evident reluctance of Soviet workers to move out to remote areas; and, concomitantly, the failure of the Soviet authorities to provide facilities in distant regions in order to encourage the workers to move there. Having referred to the dearth of workers at the mining enterprises in this area, Pravda stated that over 60 per cent of the workforce was aged between 35 and As coal miners in the USSR have the option of retir- ing at the age of fifty, the labour situation was declared to be unsatisfac- tory.

But why were no young people willing to take up a pioneering role in a remote area of the USSR? Pravda cited four reasons: 1. Living conditions were primitive and the area was sparsely populated. There were few residential buildings, including kindergartens, day- care centres, schools, clubs and stores.

No vocational or technical schools existed for the coal industry clearly many young people would need further training , and the only school of note catered to some ferrous metallurgy students. In addition to the above, one could mention the shortage of housing in the eastern mining facilities. In the Kuzbass in early , for example, miners remained on the waiting list for housing, and miners were said to be leaving the region because of the lack of a place to live.

The housing facilities had not been built, said Radio Moscow , because the construction plan had not been implemented. In Ekibastuz, for ex- ample, there were complaints a few years ago about the lack of hospital beds, half of which were to be found in buildings adapted from other uses.

The tuberculosis hospital there had been under repair for the pre- vious eighteen months, and the maternity home for nine months. Be- cause of overcrowding, the inpatient units were hospitalizing only emer- gency cases, and frequently were unable to take steps to improve the con- dition of the chronically ill.

The city hospital possessed no departments for rheumatology, otolaryngology, urology or endocrinology. According to the newspaper Meditsinskaia gazeta, as the polyclinics treated mainly miners and power-station builders, i. By the mids, little suc- cess had been achieved. As will be demonstrated below, the diverse problems in both the Donetsk and Eastern coalfields, which intensified during the years of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan , made it un- wise to be overambitious in the newly proposed Twelfth Five-Year Plan.

The only ambitious part of the plan concerns the reduction of the size of the workforce required. Greater emphasis will be placed on technology and machinery in the ex- traction of coal but such processes have also had more than their share of problems. In an article of , the British weekly, The Economist , stated that while capital costs in the development of coal are high, there are enough proven reserves in the world to last another years at the current rates of consumption, which renders the fossil fuel one of the longer-term non- renewable resources.

In contrast, the future of oil was perceived to be only about 35 years and that of natural gas 50 years. There is little doubt that at the present time, both in the USSR and the world, coal has taken a backseat to oil. At the same time, the ILO acknowl- edged that this share would fall in the years ahead and that by the year , coal would again be the leading fuel by a margin of 37 to 33 per cent. Given another three decades, the prediction went, coal would ac- count for per cent of world energy needs, oil would fall to about 18 per cent, but nuclear energy would make up per cent of the total.

This is a fairly accurate reflection of the thinking of the Soviet leaders also, except that the rate of expansion of the nuclear field is ex- pected to be considerably faster than the above year period of devel- opment. There are two reasons for such rapid growth in the nuclear sphere, in addition to the decline of the European coal industry and difficulties in coal mining in Siberia as mentioned above. Both are concerned with the oil industry.

The first is that the Soviet authorities are seeking to preserve their oil reserves as an important future source of hard currency. Rather than export oil to East European countries, for example, the USSR is be- ginning to investigate the alternative policy of conserving supplies of oil and exporting electricity instead. Since Gorbachev became CPSU General Secretary in March , and especially in the first several months of , the Soviet authorities have been preoc- cupied with problems in their oil sector.

Before the Chernobyl accident, the oil industry was the prime economic concern of the Soviet leaders, at least according to the Soviet press and journals. Before discussing briefly the recent problems in the Soviet oil indus- try, let us place matters in perspective by looking at the annual rates of increase in output of oil including gas condensate.

In , total oil output in the USSR stood at By , it had risen dramatically to million tonnes, which represented an annual average increase of In , the total was At the end of the Ninth Five-Year Plan in , another spectacular growth in output brought the annual total out- put to There- after, the industry experienced a stagnation in growth. Between and , oil output decreased for the first time in Soviet history, from In September , Gorbachev made a much publicized visit to the main Tiumen oilfield in Western Siberia.

There a long list of problems was outlined: violations of economic plans; wasteage; low-quality work; a lack of attention to the enviroment; a shortage of housing for oil workers; low quality and unreliable equipment. The prob- lems accumulated gradually over the years. Today we must say firmly to ourselves that the extraction methods that were envisaged during the first stage of the formation of the oil extraction complex on the Ob have in prac- tice exhausted their potential The epoch There remained in his view substantial prob- lems both in capital construction and in housing for the construction workers themselves: The state of affairs in capital construction is holding back the resolution of many important questions, and I would say is evoking certain con- cern The matter, first and foremost, is that there is not enough highly productive machinery among the construction workers.

The second thing The re- sult is illogical and out of step with the scale of the work. The extraction process was becoming more difficult as the more acces- sible oil reserves were used up, and yet the workers did not even have the basic accommodation to keep pace with the new demands that were being placed upon them. Geologists were not exploring new fields to a suffi- cient degree and a number of related industries were failing to provide the required assistance to the oil industry.

There are still a considerable number of [shortcomings]. Thus, planned growth rates in labour productivity are not being sustained in the oblast, re- turn on investment is falling, a serious lag in oil extraction estimated at tens of millions of tons is permitted, and many social issues are being resolved too slowly. Sotsialisticheskaia industriia laid the blame for yet another shortfall in oil production— for the month of January — on the inefficient shipping of equipment to the West Siberian oilfield.

Comrades, when we assess soberly the state of affairs in our industry, we see our deficiencies, unexploited potential and unsolved problems. In the past decade, the oil in- dustry has developed rapidly; but oil machine-building, capital construc- tion, extraction machinery and technology have lagged behind seriously in their development.

Extraction growth rates have been well ahead of geo- logical prospecting workrates. This, in turn, has led to an increase in proportional expenditure of all types of resources. The age-old problem of housing facilities for workers remained, how- ever. Dinkov acknowledged the fact without providing any way to over- come the dilemma.

We have before us the top priority task of constructing at a rapid rate hous- ing, kindergartens, schools and hospitals; entertainment and sports facili- ties, and buildings for retail trade and agriculture. Above all, we need to do this in Western Siberia Why had this not been achieved in the past? Unfortunately both the Gosplan [State Planning Committee] and State Committee for Science and Technology did not react in time to the changes that were taking place. All these negative phenomena led to nonfulfillment of the Eleventh Five- Year Plan period in Tiumen oblast and in the industry as a whole.

These problems in the oilfields of Siberia— the field that largely ac- counted for the spectacular growth rates in the oil industry in the s and s— are longstanding now, and are not likely to be resolved over- night. One cannot logically speak of a crisis, given the total volume of production.

But the deficit in terms of the plans is significant, about Further, the costs of producing oil in Siberia are much higher than other main oilfields in the world. For example, they are up to six times as high as those in the Middle East. In addition to the costs of production, falling world oil prices may have affected the relationship between the Soviet Union and its East European neighbours, which have relied heavily on inexpensive imports of Soviet oil for their energy needs.

It is plausible that if world oil prices continue to fall in the immediate future, then the East European countries will be paying more than the world price for Soviet oil. This, in turn, might cause these states to consider importing cheaper oil from the Middle East. Thus for a variety of reasons that are linked to very specific difficulties in the oil industry, the Soviet authorities prognosticated only a very mod- est increase in oil production for the period of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan up to million tonnes.

The climate, the lack of facilities for workers, the costs of extraction from new, less accessible fields, and the perennial weaknesses of the Soviet railway transport sys- tem mean that for some years, the stagnation in the Soviet oil industry is likely to continue. The hazards of obtaining energy resources from Siberia have a direct effect on Soviet Ukraine, which is a major consumer of energy.

Even in the s, the Soviet authorities were seeking alternative supplies of energy, and moreover supplies that could be more or less guaranteed: that did not depend on a Donbass miner working every weekend of a month, or on the Soviet railway or supply system to a distant oilfield. The demand for electricity was considerable. A means to this end was sought in nuclear energy, which appeared to the Soviet authorities to be an industry that was both economical and reliable.

But it was an option that had not been explored as a major supplier of energy. Not only was nuclear energy seen as a way to plug an energy gap, but the ex- porting of nuclear energy was perceived as the most convenient way to circumnavigate the need for Soviet oil in Eastern Europe. Substantial problems were in evidence at these plants before the accident. They had intensified in the s as a result of a major programme of expansion that was quite unrealistic if measured by past and current construction rates.

Chernobyl also fuelled anti-nuclear movements in some of these countries that have made the long-term nuclear energy plans even more difficult to fulfill. Through the so-called MIR system, there have been attempts to establish a unified grid for all the countries involved, and to develop water-pressurized reactors that are manufactured either in the USSR or, under Soviet supervision, in Czechoslovakia.

Two kilovolt transmission lines connect Ukraine to the East European grid, including one that links up with the Chernobyl station. The meeting was timed to coin- cide with the opening of the transmission line linking Ukraine and south- eastern Poland for the export of electricity from the USSR, but the loca- tion was of significance. In a variety of ways, Soviet Ukraine has been linked intricately with East European countries as a result of its geographical lo- cation on the western borderland of the USSR.

Of the four Ukrainian nuclear plants operating in , two were exporting electricity to Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary, while a third Khmelnytsky also for East European needs was scheduled to come on-line in East European involvement in Ukrainian nuclear construction will be dealt with in the next section.

Suffice it to say here that Poles, Romanians and other nationalities are currently working on the construc- tion of Ukrainian nuclear plants, while Ukrainian personnel— usually skilled engineers— are involved in the design and operation of some East European nuclear stations. In theory, the CMEA system works on a co-operative basis, with each country contributing different resources to the overall operation.

The premise is that with the exception of the USSR itself, the East European countries lack the technological resources to develop nuclear energy indi- vidually. At the same time, it is considered by some governments as the only means of averting a future energy crisis.

Bulgaria, Romania and Poland in particular are not well endowed with natural resources. Thus Romania now contributes water tanks for CMEA nuclear plants; East Germany cranes; Hungary refuelling and water treatment equipment; Bulgaria pumps and condensers; Poland pressurizers and heat exchangers; Yugoslavia cranes, pumps and some of the components for graphite-moderated reactors in the USSR ; while Czechoslovakia, which is playing the second most important role after the USSR, manu- factures water-pressurized reactors at its Skoda factory, in addition to steam turbines, generators and other equipment.

With the exception of that be- ing constructed in Romania and the one in operation in Yugoslavia, all the reactors being used in Eastern Europe are of Soviet or Czechoslovak make. Of all the coun- tries involved in the CMEA nuclear programme, only Czechoslovakia has the developed infrastructure to be able to operate individually, and even the Czechs still rely heavily on auxiliary equipment from other countries involved.

The whole programme has thus given the USSR a great deal of leverage over its allies, and this leverage is increasing as the programmes develop. In April , Antonov was in Czecho- slovakia, where he signed a Protocol with the Czechoslovak representa- tive that outlined the development of nuclear energy for the 90 pe- riod in Czechoslovakia. Co-operation between the CMEA countries in the development of nuclear power first began in , although a comprehensive programme was only developed in , which anticipated economic integration for the next years, including the nuclear sphere.

In , a Standing Commission for Nuclear Energy was created, which divided up research responsibilities, with most of the chief parts for the industry being manu- factured by the USSR. At this time, the Interatominstrument organiza- tion was created. In the following year, the Interatomenergo organiza- tion was founded for the purpose of integrating nuclear energy plans by using standardized reactors in the CMEA countries and Yugoslavia.

Sub- sequently, short and long-term plans were created, and the construction of water-pressurized reactors took place at an ever-increasing rate. Generally, progress has been slower than anticipated, both in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

In , in the CMEA countries, nuclear plants accounted for only about 8 per cent of the electricity gen- erated, mainly as a result of delays in putting nuclear plants into oper- ation. Sychev, the total capacity of nuclear plants in the CMEA was to be doubled by , and the Session adopted a comprehensive programme to the year This big programme is realistic because all CMEA countries have pooled efforts to produce unique power engineering equipment.

Neither Poland nor Romania had nuclear plants in operation, al- though construction has been under way for years in both countries. Clearly the above percentages have not satisfied the Soviet authorities since they still entail major dependence on imports of Soviet electricity on the part of most of the countries involved.

Thus a crash programme has been initiated that is unprecedented in its scope and speed. Since de- velopment in each CMEA country has been so varied, a brief review of the development of nuclear energy in individual countries will follow. Bulgaria has four megawatt water-pressurized reactors in oper- ation at its Kozloduy plant, the first of which began generating in July , with the second following in November , a third in January and a fourth in June Work on the fifth reactor is in progress.

This is to be a larger 1,megawatt reactor, which is being designed with the aid of specialists from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine. Computer equipment is being installed by a joint Bulgaro- Soviet group of specialists.

A sixth reactor is said to be under construc- tion in the vicinity. The reasons are twofold: first, Bulgaria lacks natural resources to service its power industry; second, the country con- sumes an amount of electricity per head of population that is excessive.

Consequently strict rationing of electricity in the country was renewed. Again, the Soviet Ukrainian connection should be emphasized. Ukrainian engineers are working on the construction of the two Bulgarian stations, which are being built on the Zaporizhzhian model. Somewhat ironically in the wake of Chernobyl, one of the main reasons for the extensive nuclear develop- ment has been protection of the environment. In contrast, nuclear plants are considered virtually pollution free.

The Czechoslovak programme is taking place under the close and con- stant scrutiny of the USSR, which appears to have been involved at al- most every stage of development. Most recently, the Eighth Session of the Czechoslovak-Soviet plenipotentiaries for developing nuclear power in Czechoslovakia up to the year ended in Moscow on 10 April , with the signing of a Protocol between Aleksei Antonov and the Czechoslovak Deputy Federal Premier, Ladislav Gerle.

The first megawatt unit began generating in , with a second coming on-line in and a third in With the completion of the fourth unit in , it is estimated that this plant alone will save the country 10 million metric tonnes of brown coal per year.

In August , a second plant came into operation at Dukovany in southern Moravia, and the second energy block was started up here early in , evidently ahead of the official sched- ule, which was timed to coincide with the Czechoslovak Party Congress in March By , if plans are met, ten reactors should be generating electricity, at which time the share of nuclear power in electricity output will have risen from 20 to 28 per cent. Thus like Bulgaria, the nuclear option is re- garded as the preferred path for future energy development.

Czechoslovakia is also a major participant in the manufacture of nuclear equipment, both for domestic use and for export. According to the Journal of Commerce 1 May , the Czechoslovak energy pro- gramme will account for 37 per cent of all industrial investment in the period. Yet the Czechoslovak nuclear industry has been beset by major problems, which make the rapid expansion outlined for the future quite improbable in terms of adhering to the proposed plan, quite apart from the repercussions of the Chernobyl accident.

Plant construc- tion, he said, was being delayed by numerous shortcomings, including the supply of materials and spare parts. Some of the equipment required evidently had not reached the Dukovany site at the required time, notably pumps from the Sigma Company of Lutin, and valves and vents from a firm in Usti-nad-Labem. Of the East European countries, Hungary appears to be the most directly linked to Ukraine in nuclear energy development.

The Kiev engineers reportedly are supervising the construction process and resolving any technical questions that arise. A second megawatt reac- tor came on-line in , and two more are planned for the early years of the plan.

Hungary has long had problems in producing sufficient quan- tities of coal, and the Paks plant was actually commissioned as long ago as According to the Hungarian authorities, the country possesses enough uranium to supply the plant until the year The uranium ore, which is to be found among coal deposits near Pecs, is said to be suffi- cient to fuel a second nuclear plant in Hungary, the construction of which is to begin before He notes that although at a February meeting, Hungarian and Soviet officials decided to double the capacity of the plant from the size originally anticipated, the costs of building Paks have now tripled, and official statements about savings as a result of economy of fuel are no longer applicable.

This same source states that there have been labour problems at the plant, resulting partly from a shortage of workers in the early phases of construction, and partly be- cause of a decision to abandon the use of two separate contractors the Power Plant Investment Enterprise and the Paks Nuclear Power Plant Enterprise in favour of total control by the latter.

Evidently this move led to bad feeling, bickering and disorganization of work at the Paks plant. Six reactors are now envisaged there with an ulti- mate capacity of 5, megawatts. With the construction of a second nuclear plant in the s, the share of nuclear power in Hungarian elec- tricity production will rise to 40 per cent by the end of the century if targets are met.

Also, despite close co-operation with the USSR in making its nuclear plans, and in participating in the Soviet con- struction at the South Ukrainian nuclear plant in Mykolaiv oblast, Romania opted initially to use Western technology in its nuclear indus- try. Consequently, the first plant, which is still under construction at Cemavoda on the Danube, began in using Canadian technology and CANDU reactors. The first of three reactors was scheduled to come on- line in , but the Romanians have fallen behind schedule.

Romania has suffered from a shortage of electricity for a number of years. The agreement with Canada represented a major effort to over- come this deficit. The total capacity of the Cemavoda plant was to be 3, megawatts, based on reactors of megawatts capacity. Work on a new plant, near the city of Piatra Neamt in Moldavia, be- gan in March It is reported that Czechoslovakia is preparing three reactors, each of 1,megawatt capacity, for the plant at very favour- able terms for the Romanians. The design is in the hands of the USSR, which is also supplying the bulk of the equipment and the skilled person- nel.

The first power block is scheduled to begin generating in More significant, imports of electricity from the USSR and Albania were evidently insufficient to make up the deficit. The failures in Romania resemble those in Poland, where the Zamowiec nuclear plant in Gdansk province was originally scheduled to start operating in , according to a PAP Polish news agency state- ment of early Later this date was put back to , and then in June , PAP announced that efforts were being made to ensure the generation of electricity at Zamowiec in , i.

It then focused on local concerns about the plant, at which construction only began after an entire village was moved from Kortoszyno to Odargowo. Radioactive water, for example, was to be sealed hermetically, and the radioactivity removed through steam- ing.

Radioactive waste, on the other hand, would be sent to the USSR on the basis of an agreement between the two countries. But there is also an acute labour shortage at the site. The project appears to be labour intensive and a maximum labour force of 12, persons has been projected. The reactors for Zamowiec are to be supplied by the Skoda firm of Czechoslovakia, while the USSR is assisting with if not supervising construction work and providing the other nuclear components.

Total capacity is to be 1, megawatts, and two other plants, both with an ultimate capacity of 4, megawatts, are to be constructed, one of which will be near Klempicz, northwest of Poznan. In , for example, a site for a new four-reactor plant was selected in the picturesque Karolewo region, near Plock, an area of pine forest and glacial lakes. A strong campaign by local residents against the loca- tion received support from Communist officials in the area and from the official League of Nature Protection environmentalist group.

In April , for example, the Polish news service reported a protest of residents in the Zelenia Goria province close to the East German border against plans to locate a nuclear waste dump in the vicinity. Underground bunkers constructed by the Germans during the Second World War were felt to be suitable repositories for nuclear waste. The protests, which be- gan at in , if not earlier, are being led by the so-called Pron move- ment, a semi-official body established after martial law with a mission to find common ground between Polish citizens and the Polish govern- ment.

The immediate goals are to bring Zarnowiec into operation and to raise the share of nuclear power in elec- tricity production from zero to 16 per cent by the year East Germany also appears to be committed firmly to nuclear power, despite a slight reduction in its proportion of electricity generation be- tween and , from 12 to While East Germany is a leading lignite producer and can possibly afford to de- velop more slowly than its CMEA partners in the nuclear sphere, 30 the indications are that at least six new reactors are under construction there, including two 1, megawatt reactors at a new location in Stendal, and four megawatt reactors that are being supplied by Czechoslovakia to the Nord plant, all of which should come on-line in the latter part of the s.

Yugoslavia is perhaps the most interesting case-study of the East Euro- pean countries because of its lack of commitment to, but participation in CMEA meetings and plans. Westinghouse Company at Krsko, fifty kilometres north of Zagreb in , with a capacity of mega- watts.

Simply put, the questions raised by Yugoslav scientists before the Chernobyl ac- cident are applicable to virtually all the CMEA countries involved in the ambitious programme for nuclear energy expansion in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union over the next fifteen years. The debate reached the higher echelons of the administration with the publication in the February edition of the Yugoslav journal Komunist of an article by Professor Slavko Kulic, a scientific advisor at the Zagreb Economic Institute and head of the Centre for Strategic Research.

Kulic pointed out what he felt would be the serious consequences for the pres- ent and future if the Yugoslav government were to pursue the nuclear route in energy development. According to Kulic: The way in which nuclear energy has thus far been produced and used calls for an explanation of the extreme situation that we have been pushed into by people of inadequate knowledge, overexcited technocrats who have chosen to secure their power in society by promoting the nuclear alterna- tive of generating electricity without any consideration of what it would mean for future generations and for us who are using that form of en- ergy I find it strange that decisions about this issue are being made by people of inadequate knowledge who are committing intellectual violence on the public.

The fact that our general public is inadequately informed is In particular, the Yugoslav press was heavily critical of nuclear energy development in the months leading up to the Chernobyl disaster. Milka Planinc acted cautiously. In March , she stated that Yugoslavia, with its modest oil and gas reserves, could not hope to resolve its energy problems without recourse to nuclear power.

The situation was, however, intensified by the accident in Ukraine. Impact of the Chernobyl Disaster in Eastern Europe That the Chernobyl accident will have a major impact on the East European nuclear power programme is clear. According to one Polish- area specialist: Few can doubt that the Chernobyl accident will have political conse- quences in Eastern Europe. At the very least, one may expect an increase in public concern over the planned expansion of nuclear power plants.

While it would be misguided to make too much of the protests that have followed the accident, which are essentially small-scale, it is none- theless clear that the nuclear tragedy had an almost immediate impact, particularly in Poland, which was most directly affected by the radiation cloud, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, where there was already a pow- erful anti-nuclear lobby in place.

It is also clear that these protests have already affected psychologically and otherwise, the major nuclear pro- gramme set forth for Eastern Europe. An issue that could determine elec- tion results in Western Europe has also swept across Eastern Europe. France, Belgium, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia have similar commit- ments to nuclear power. Inevitably, the form of the protest against nuclear development has differed, but it is no less significant for occur- ring in countries with more authoritarian forms of government.

Czechoslovakia was less than forthcoming in its reporting of the Chernobyl accident and, by and large, simply repeated statements made earlier by Soviet news agencies. According to one analysis: Czechoslovak behaviour throughout the Chernobyl crisis so far has revealed a certain measure of insecurity glossed over by the veneer of a reassertion of faith in the infallibility of Soviet and East European science and technology.

There are two possible explanations for this attitude. Secondly, the regime is anxious that any manifestation of anti-Soviet emotions be nipped in the bud. Noting that other govern- ments, such as that of the Federal Republic of Germany, had issued warnings about the consumption of fresh milk, the Czechoslovak author- ities had followed a terse statement that there had been no increase in radioactivity in the country 30 April with five days of silence.

The statement, signed in Prague on 6 May by Milos Palous, Anna Sabatova and Jan Stem, ended as follows: Since the right to life and health is among the most fundamental human rights, we demand that you publish without delay all available information about the levels of radiation on the territory of the republic on each of the critical days.

Of particular importance are sober estimates by experts who should inform the public about the risks still persisting and about the measures that should be taken now and in the future. At the same time, we demand that the government of the Czechoslovak republic request from the Soviet government all necessary information about the circumstances of the catastrophe [and that it] make this information public and let the public know what conclusions will be drawn from the Chernobyl accident, espe- cially with a view to ensuring the safe operation of our own nuclear plants.

Given the higher density of population in Central Europe, a similar event there could have even more far-reaching consequences. When it comes to the menace of radioactivity we must act in unison, because radioactivity recognizes no borders. Five students were arrested, but subsequently released by the Czechoslovak police. This occurred for the first two Dukovany reactors and a third meeting for the next power block was scheduled for June Although it is clearly under more pressure than hitherto to slow down its expansion, the Czechoslovak government cited this agreement as evidence of the sort of international co-operation which, in line with enhanced safety standards, will enable the future development of nuclear power in the country to continue at the same pace as before.

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Nuclear power plants hence contribute significantly to the obligation to reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. Mochovce NPP meets all international requirements and that the operation impact is minimal. Water required for cooling is taken from a water dam built on the nearby Hron river, which ensures sufficient supply of water even in extremely dry climate conditions.

The impact of the discharged waters on the quality of the Hron river water, fauna and flora is negligible. Emissions to the atmosphere and effluents to the hydrosphere are regularly measured and assessed in the km area around the plant. There are 25 monitoring stations of the tele-dosimetry system, which continuously monitor the dose rate of gamma radiation, activity of aerosols and radioactive iodine in the air, soil, water and food chain feed, milk, agricultural products.

The volume of radioactive substances contained in liquid and gaseous discharges is considerably lower than the limits set out by authorities. This principle ensures that the radiation exposure inside and outside the power plant is As Low As Reasonably Achievable and well below the limits set by legislation. The impact of the NPP operation on the environment and human health is negligible with respect to other radiation sources present in everyday life.

There are 24 monitoring stations of the tele-dosimetry system in the 20 km radius around the power plant, which continuously monitors the dose rate of gamma radiation, volume activity of aerosols and radioactive iodine in the air, soil, water and food chain feed, milk, agricultural produces.

Immediately after the Fukushima accident, European politicians, representatives of the nuclear industry and regulatory bodies agreed on the undertaking of power-plant safety reviews. All 15 member states of the EU operating nuclear power plants were involved. Stress tests analysed extraordinary external events — earthquakes, floods, and impacts of other events that might result in the multiple loss of power-plant safety functions. The combination of events, including loss of power supply, long-term water supply breakdown, as well as loss of power supply due to extreme climate conditions were also assessed.

Stress tests revealed no deficiencies requiring immediate action; the further safe operation of neither the operating units nor the units under construction was put in doubt. Identified measures would further increase nuclear safety, for example by adding mobile diesel-generator for recharging of back-up batteries.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Nuclear power plant located in Slovakia. Slovakia portal Energy portal Nuclear technology portal. The Slovak Spectator. Archived from the original on Retrieved Nuclear Engineering International. Retrieved 27 November World Nuclear News. Retrieved 24 August European Atomic Forum. Retrieved 19 August Authority control. Czech Republic. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file.

Download as PDF Printable version. Wikimedia Commons. Related media on Commons. The commissioning of the Mochovce nuclear power plant unit 2 is planned for The communication alleges that with regard to the Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant hereinafter" the Mochovce NPP" by failing to provide for public participation.

The communication concerned the lack of an EIA involving public participation prior to the construction of two new reactor. The polls are carried out on the national level- across Slovakia and in locations. Nuclear power plants such as the Mochovce NPP are activities covered by article 6 paragraph 1 and annex I paragraph 1 of the Convention for which public participation shall be provided in permit procedures.

The construction of units 3 and. It alleged failure by the Party concerned to provide for public participation rights at an early. In particular the Committee is not persuaded that if a similar decision as those taken in on the Mochovce reactors 3 and Notice This website or its third-party tools use cookies, which are necessary to its functioning and required to achieve the purposes illustrated in the cookie policy.

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