20 APRIL 1996
REALISTIC ALTERNATIVES FOR NUCLEAR ENERGY IN UKRAINE EXIST !
In connection with the 10th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe,
Ukrainian-American seminars on "Alternatives to Nuclear Energy" were
held in Mykolaiv, Nikopol and Zaporizhzhya between April 8 and 18, 1996.
The seminars were sponsored by local chapters of the Ukrainian
environmental federation, Green World, and two American non-governmental
organizations, Center for Citizen Initiatives and Plutonium Free Future, which
are located in California, USA. Speakers and participants included local
officials from regional and local government, executives and engineers from
regional and city electric power companies, and faculty and students from
Seminars were based on the Declaration on Human Rights which declares
the right to life as the highest value. Therefore, decisions on the basic
direction and specific development in the field of eneregy should be made only
with the participation of all people effected by these decisions.
Seminar participants in each city expressed concern about the following
1. Two years ago the President
and government of Ukraine ignored the wishes of the public, still shocked by
Chernobyl, by deciding to create an independent Ukrainian "nuclear fuel
cycle" and nuclear industry.
2. American specialists
reported that after the accident at Three Mile Island atomic station in
Pennsyvania in 1979, the construction of atomic power stations in the US
concluded for reasons of safety and non-profitability. The official energy
policy of Ukraine creates conditions only for atomic energy, which is of global
ecological danger and is economically suicidal, even without serious accidents.
This is a path to non-sustainable energy, to destruction of democratic
foundations of society and to lose of independence.
3. Democratic development of
Ukraine requires adoption by parliament of a law on the heating and electricity
complex, the promotion of energy conservation, and the increase of efficiency
in energy production and distribution. The law should include a requirement
that each region create an energy commission with public participation to
achieve democratic decision-making on energy issues.
4. Ukrainian and American
specialists asserted that Ukraine has a great potential for the use of
renewable energy (especially wind, solar, biogas, and geothermal) and that
Ukraine has the capability to produce (in Mykolaiv, Kryviy Rig, Zaporizhzhya
and Kharkiv) all components for erection of gas turbine electric stations.
Experience in Ukraine and USA proves that gas turbine technology is economical,
flexible and ecologically clean; therefore it is a cheap and safe alternative
to atomic power stations in the near future.
Seminar participants heard about the permanent closure of an atomic
power station in Sacramento (capital of California) by means of a popular
referendum. They discussed the importance of including the right to referendum
in the new constitution of Ukraine.