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Expert: Nuclear power allows Ukraine to keep electricity prices low

Nuclear power allows Ukraine to keep low electricity prices for consumers, export electricity, and earn foreign currency for the country. The prospects the development of the nuclear energy industry opens up were outlined by Dmitry Marunich, co-president of the Foundation for Energy Strategies of Ukraine.

At present Ukraine uses 15 power-generating units at four nuclear power plants (the Rovno one, the Zaporozhye one, the Khmelnitsky one, and the South Ukraine one). Most of them were designed and built in the time of the Soviet Union and still represent the main source of electricity for Ukrainian consumers.

The nuclear power plants generate more than half of the electricity the Ukrainian market uses. “Thanks to the low prime cost electricity generated by the nuclear power plants allows Ukraine to keep low rates for industrial consumers and households. Since the nuclear energy industry is the basic source of electricity generation, we can export electricity and earn considerable amounts of foreign currency,” Dmitry Marunich noted.

The expert believes that the nuclear energy industry also has a positive effect on the labor market. According to international experts, the construction and operation of one nuclear power plant unit with the output capacity of 1,000MW creates thousands of jobs in the nuclear energy industry and allied ones.

Just like Ukraine Belarus has decided to become a nuclear power. The first unit of the Belarusian nuclear power plant will start generating electricity soon. According to Dmitry Marunich, once the Belarusian nuclear power plant operates at full capacity, it will create the potential for exporting electricity to other countries. Besides, European requirements for the operation of coal power plants and natural gas cogeneration plants are getting tougher due to the need to use environmentally neutral sources of electricity generation.

Dmitry Marunich believes that Belarus has built an environmentally pristine source of electricity, which will become a stable base for the development of the manufacturing sector in the future. The government uses a comprehensive approach to future use of electricity on the domestic market. A large-scale modernization of the power grid has been carried out. Growth points for industrial clusters have been set up. A program to encourage the use of electric transport has been worked out and is being introduced. Nuclear technologies are the ticket to the future. Many countries would like to have access to nuclear technologies but they need assistance of more experienced partners to make it happen.