At the meeting on nuclear energy development and nuclear safety at the Khmelnytskyi NPP during a working visit to Khmelnytskyi region, President Petro Poroshenko highlighted the importance of implementing the Ukraine-EU energy bridge projects and completing the 3rd and 4th units of Khmelnytskyi NPP.
“Choosing a place for our meeting exactly at the Khmelnytskyi NPP is not accidental. After all, two very important projects for the energy security and development of our state are being launched here. The first one is the Ukraine-EU energy bridge and the second project is the completion of the 3rd and 4th units of Khmelnytskyi NPP,” Petro Poroshenko said.
According to him, the project of the energy bridge is, first of all, a European integration project. “Not talk on TV shows, but taking concrete steps to tie the sectors of the economy with the world’s most powerful market, including energy market. This project will allow to integrate the united energy system of Ukraine into the European ENTSO-E network in the future,” the President emphasized.
“Khmelnytskyi NPP will become a pilot in such integration, and the unique experience gained as a result of the project implementation will allow the Ukrainian and European energy systems to be united as soon as possible,” he added.
The Head of State stresses that we already know how, when and what to do, but there was no political will on the part of the Ukrainian side before and Europe kept its doors shut. “And today, after the Association Agreement, the visa-free regime, the doors are open. And the day after tomorrow in Brussels, I will talk about that with the leadership of the European Commission, with the President of the European Council, the European Commissioners,” he said.
“The implementation of this project will not only increase the export of electricity from our country, but also allow us to raise funds for the completion of two new power units. It is in line with our strategic interests and vision of the future development of energy sector, as well as the interests of energy security of our EU partners. Not to build gas pipelines from Russia and stay on the “gas needle”, but to cooperate in the field of nuclear energy with Ukraine,” the Head of State emphasized.
The President said: “I emphasize that the project of energy bridge is a geopolitical counterweight to the plans of Moscow, which will allow our European partners to have an alternative and reliable source of electricity supply at competitive European prices. In other words, Ukraine can become an important contributor to Europe’s energy security”.
The Head of State also emphasized that the issue of nuclear energy security is of great importance for Ukrainians: “It is very important in the context of hostilities in the east of the country that measures are taken to eliminate terrorist threats and strengthen the physical protection of nuclear power plants. This is a topic for specialists, but I state that Energoatom has an opportunity to work out measures to counteract a potential threat together with the Security Service and the National Guard. I can emphasize that the security measures have been increased tenfold”.
The President also noted that the prospect of our energy independence is inextricably linked to the extraction of uranium. “Ukraine is one of the few countries in the world that has its own uranium mining industry. Our strategic task is to preserve it and create the necessary conditions for its development. The Eastern Mining and Processing Plant provides up to 40% of the uranium needs of Ukrainian nuclear power plants, but the strategic goal is 100%. I am ready to support the necessary proposals for this, and we expect these proposals from Energoatom and the Ukrainian Government,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
He noted that the energy market reform started in Ukraine, which aims to create electricity prices both for producers and consumers through the creation of a competitive open market. “In this situation, nuclear energy becomes particularly important. Nuclear power should receive a financial opportunity for development, creation of new replacement capacities, using its export potential,” the President said.
The Head of State noted that the Ukrainian authorities had clear prospects for the next two or three years for Ukrainian nuclear scientists. “We will achieve the energy independence of the state in the gas sector, in the field of nuclear energy. We have already taken great strides in this direction. Our powerful and safe nuclear energy will reach new technological and economic frontiers,” he summed up.