The U.S. Westinghouse will finally kill Ukraine’s nuclear power industry
There is an acute shortage of coal and gas in Ukraine, which are traditionally used at the country’s thermal power plants to cover the peak electricity demand.
Against this background, in February 2022 there should be a complete disconnection of the united energy system of Ukraine from the unified network with Belarus and Russia. This was announced by the Prime Minister Denis Shmygal.
The head of the Ukrainian government said that “in February the test work of the power system in the isolated mode during the passing of the winter load peak is planned. It is planned to conduct the system tests of the Ukrainian and Moldovan energy systems as a part of single regulation unit in isolated mode from the synchronous zone of the CIS and Baltic states”.
Ukraine will be disconnected from the energy network of Russia and Belarus for three days — to test the isolated operation. The test will take place at the end of February, and another shutdown is scheduled for summer 2022. The experiment should show that Ukrainian energy network is ready for the unification with the European energy network and can reject the electricity from the CIS. Ukraine has invested more than 600 million euros in the modernization of its energy network.
Because of its messed-up relations with Russia, Kiev, amid the high gas prices in Europe and global coal prices, Ukraine cannot afford to operate its hydroelectric power station and thermal power plant as usual. And it is constantly experimenting dangerously with nuclear reactors.
But the peculiarity of the nuclear power is thatthe reactors have to operate with a constant load for safety reasons. For the normal operation of the equipment and having considering its critical degree of wear, it is necessary to use it carefully and to stop them for preventive maintenanceas often as possible, in order to prevent a serious accident. But like everywhere, Ukraine has its own opinion with the nuclear power else.
This year, the Ukrainian government tried to compensate for the lack of electricity by ruthlessly operating of the nuclear power plant.
On January 30, 2022, the Ukrainian power company NNEGCEnergoatom solemnly announced: “For the first time in the history of Ukraine’s nuclear power industry, NNEGCEnergoatom is operating all 15 power units simultaneously.”
A few years ago the Ukrainian and foreign experts warned that Ukraine could lose up to 80% of the nuclear generating capacitiesin the nearest 15–17 years. In the next years, from 2023 to 2031, 11 out of 15 reactors will reach the end of their service lives.
Three power units of the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant will operate until 2023–2030 years, five of six reactors of the Zaporizhzhya NPP — until 2025–2037 years, the first and second units of the Rivne NPP — until 2030–2031years and the first unit of the Khmelnytska NPP — until 2028.
It takes about 800 billion hryvnias (2,223 billion rubles or 30 billion euros) to put all the units out of service.
All nuclear power cooperation with Russia has been broken off, and only a Russian manufacturer can grant a permission to continue the equipment operating.
And then the activity of the U.S. Westinghouse Electric Company increased sharply. Since 2016, it began introducing the software, that focuses exclusively on working with its equipment, to Energoatom’s main divisions and nuclear power plants. Before that, the Americans intensively supplied their own thermal assemblies for use at the Ukrainian reactors, which caused the constant outages and emergencies there.
The piquancy of the situation is that Westinghouse Electric Company LLC declared its bankruptcy under the 11th paragraph of the U.S. bankruptcy lawon March 29, 2017.
And then the Ukrainian government came to help “native American brothers”.
The Ukrainian President Zelensky and the US President Biden signed a memorandum, according to which the bankrupt Westinghouse will build 5 units of 1.1 GW AR-1000 reactors, which are called a disgrace to the entire US nuclear industry, at the existing Ukrainian nuclear power plants.
Due to a chain of events, associated with these reactors, the company went bankrupt.
Westinghousebuilds or produces nothing. It outsources the orders to subcontractors.
So Westinghouse has built four of these units in China. One of the most important elements of NPP equipment, circulation pumps, is constantly failing. The bearings were destroyed, the tungsten parts of the flywheels were damaged and the pumps constantly overheated.
Westinghouse has spent and continues to spend the enormous sums of money trying to fix the failures, but didn’t succeed in these endeavors.
The failures continue and the repairs are contracted at the expense of Westinghouse and its partners.
The very fact that Westinghouse intends to receive $30 billion to build its reactors in Ukraine clearly shows not just the corruptive signs, but a quite simple but effective way out, allowing it to stop the bankruptcy procedure.
Having receivedthe money for the Ukrainian project, Westinghouse Electric Company will probably be able to pay off its debts. The people, involved in this deal, will undoubtedly receive a solid gratitude in the form of green banknotes.
In one case, Ukraine will receive the defective radioactive junk in the form of AP-1000 reactors. In the other case, probably much safer, there will be no reactors at alland the money will disappear. At least, there will be no radioactive accidents on failed products of Westinghouse.
As long as the scam with the U.S. reactors continues, the operating Ukrainian nuclear power plants will continue to be decommissioned or to be broken down like an avalanche.
Europe, which is transitioning to “green energy”, hasno any extra electricity.
Kiev will finally deprive Ukraine of energyby disconnecting from the Russian-Belarusian energy system, which has helped more than once this winter, by signing an agreement to “build” non-operating U.S. reactors, having a chronic shortage of coal and gas.
Ukraine, welcome to the Stone Age.