NATO Team Counsels Ukraine on Atomic Reactor Safety

Global Security Newswire Staff
May 8, 2014, 8:30 a.m.

NATO spe­cial­ists re­cently ad­vised Ukraine on the safety of its atom­ic re­act­ors, amid con­cerns about spread­ing in­stabil­ity in the coun­try, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

A team of al­li­ance ci­vil­ian ex­perts traveled to the coun­try in April at Kiev’s re­quest to provide re­com­mend­a­tions on op­tions for en­han­cing pro­tec­tions around key in­fra­struc­ture sites such as nuc­le­ar plants and gas pipelines, the news ser­vice re­por­ted on Wed­nes­day.

Some in­de­pend­ent ana­lysts have voiced con­cern about the po­ten­tial for a nuc­le­ar plant melt­down oc­cur­ring if the elec­tri­city that powers re­act­ors’ cool­ing sys­tems is cut off or plant per­son­nel flee their posts due to nearby fight­ing in the coun­try.

“In any coun­try, in any situ­ation, there are plans and ad­di­tion­al meas­ures to pro­tect in­fra­struc­ture ob­jects,” Ukrain­i­an Am­bas­sad­or to NATO Ihor Dol­hov said in an in­ter­view. “So the pur­pose was to eval­u­ate the per­form­ance of meas­ures which are be­ing im­ple­men­ted in Ukraine to pro­tect such ob­jects.”

Fears of “pos­sible destabil­iz­a­tion” in areas where key en­ergy sites are loc­ated promp­ted Kiev to seek the ex­pert ad­vice, the dip­lo­mat ac­know­ledged.

There are 15 act­ive atom­ic en­ergy plants in Ukraine, ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency.

In ad­di­tion to host­ing nu­mer­ous nuc­le­ar sites, Ukraine also is home to a num­ber of de­fense factor­ies that sup­ply stra­tegic mis­sile com­pon­ents to Rus­sia, Bloomberg Busi­nes­s­week re­por­ted on Wed­nes­day.

Over half of Rus­sia’s nuc­le­ar base was con­struc­ted in Ukraine or re­lies on nav­ig­a­tion tech­no­logy pro­duced by Ukraine, said Ser­hiy Zgurets, a Ukraine de­fense in­dustry ex­pert.

Were arms ship­ments and con­tracts to ser­vice Rus­si­an long-range mis­siles hal­ted, there would be very real im­pacts for some Rus­si­an weapon sys­tems, sug­ges­ted Siemon Weze­man, a seni­or re­search­er for the Stock­holm In­ter­na­tion­al Peace Re­search In­sti­tute.

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