Campaign groups today called on the European Commission to withdraw financial and political support for the lifetime extension of Ukrainian nuclear facilities.
Friends of the Earth Europe and its Ukrainian member Zelenyi Svit, CEE Bankwatch Network and Greenpeace CEE want the Commission to withhold the granting of a €300 million loan to the Ukraine NPP Safety Upgrade Project which would prolong the life of reactors scheduled to close in 2020.
The groups assert that the European Commission is supporting the Ukrainian authorities despite their clear failure to inform and consult with European citizens about continuation of their nuclear power generation.
Their call came in the form of an open letter to the European Council and European Parliament.Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe said: “The European Commission is on one hand encouraging Ukraine to enforce democracy and the rule of law via the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, and on the other hand, completely ignoring Kiev’s clear failure, as a signatory, to comply with the Espoo Convention. We believe that the European Commission should be decommissioning risky, expensive nuclear energy generation instead of propping it up.”
The United Nations ESPOO convention committee is responsible for examining whether appropriate environmental impact assessments have been conducted when the impacts of a project may be felt beyond one country. Ukraine has been a signatory of the Convention since 1999.
The ESPOO committee ruled non-compliance by Ukraine in the case of its nuclear reactors because it took the decision to extend the use of its old reactors without fully assessing the impact this could have on neighbouring countries.