The President's Trip to Europe: Portugal, Germany, Russia, Ukraine - Fact Sheets: Nuclear Safety Assistance Increased


Office of the Press Secretary
(Kiev, Ukraine)

For Immediate Release June 5, 2000

Fact Sheet

Nuclear Safety Assistance Increased

President Clinton today announced a $2 million expansion of the U.S. nuclear safety assistance program with Ukraine. The funding will support closure of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant and nuclear safety improvements at Ukraine's other four nuclear power plants. Nuclear power provides over 40% of Ukraine's electricity generation.

The work extends U.S.-supported cooperative efforts to improve the safety of Soviet-designed reactors in Ukraine. These efforts began in 1992 and have resulted in significant improvements to safety at Ukraine's nuclear power plants. The work is implemented by the U.S. Department of Energy in cooperation with Ukraine's Ministry of Fuel and Energy and its nuclear utility, Energoatom. This funding will support work in the following areas:
  • Decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) planning and safety assessment assistance, through the Chornobyl Center's Slavutych Laboratory, to support closure of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant. Currently, only the planning document for Unit 1 has been completed, which has allowed its defueling. The additional funding will assure the completion of D&D planning documents for Units 2 and 3;
  • Maintenance and repair capability at Westron in Kharkiv, a joint venture between Khartron and Westinghouse Electric Company, for the eleven Safety Parameter Display Systems that the United States has provided to Ukraine's VVER-1000 nuclear power plants;
  • Operation safety upgrades, which will be undertaken at Ukraine's other nuclear power plants.
The United States is investing $26 million to install eleven Safety Parameter Display Systems in Ukraine's most modern nuclear power plants, the VVER-1000s. These systems provide nuclear power plant operators with rapid access to hundreds of signals from operational and safety systems so that the operators can quickly and efficiently deal with accident situations. Lack of a system of this kind was a factor in the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979. These systems are manufactured by a joint venture, Westron, between Westinghouse Electric company in the U.S. and Khartron in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Under this new initiative, Westron will develop the capability to repair printed circuit boards and system components and maintain an in-country stock of complex electronic boards to provide quickly for the repair needs of Safety Parameter Display Systems quickly. Other activities include providing fire safety equipment at additional nuclear power plants.

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