Okay, here are my plans for the next few days. Later in the week I have something more cultural – a biographical piece about Pushkin’s daughter. Yes, I said PUSH-kin, not PUTIN.
But first, there is this piece, which I think is rather important. But also quite long, so it will be a 2-parter, possibly even 3-parter.
So, let’s dive right in.
Quotes and Acronyms
The lede is that 50% control over all of the Ukraine nuclear energy industry has mysteriously passed to …. (nobody knows). Well, there is only a lot of speculation.
The piece begins with a quote from a man named Oleg Kryukov, who is one of the Directors of the Russian firm Rosatom. Kryukov is in charge of media relations and also disposing of nuclear waste. Two job duties which fit together handily, no doubt. And, despite his extensive experience around nuclear power plants, Kryukov, as one can tell from his photo, is a very pale man. Not a suntan or burn in sight.
Kryukov announced that Rosatom has halted the importation and disposal of radioactive waste from Ukrainian nuclear power stations. See, Rosatom had a contract with the Ukrainians to cart away their waste. Which was then re-worked or re-cycled in Russia. The Ukrainians pay $160 million per year for this important service.
But then the Ukrainians stopped paying their bills. Therefore Mr. Kryukov had no choice except to call off fleet of his garbage trucks. He says that waste-disposal services will resume, just as soon as the Ukrainians pay up what they owe. In addition, the Ukrainians are such notoriously unreliable customers, that they were put on on a “pre-pay” plan. They were supposed to pre-pay for the month of May, and they didn’t.
Bottom line is the uncarted-away nuclear waste remains in the Ukraine. No doubt posing a risk and safety hazard to everyone around.
The piece then goes on to quote another technical expert and blogger, a man named Alexei Anpilogov. Anpilogov, born in 1974 in Dnipropetrovsk, graduated with degrees in physics, electronics and computer systems. After the Maidan coup and the “Russian Spring” of 2014, Anpilogov joined the anti-Kiev Resistance groups in Novorossiya. He is the head of an NGO called “Foundation Fund“. I was confused at first when I saw his website, I thought he was the owner of a small business which did construction and roofing. Turns out those are just ads. Anpilogov lives in St. Petersburg, Russia, and his NGO is concerned with issues of energy independence and the energy crisis facing mankind.
According to Anpilogov, Ukraine should, in theory, be able to maintain spent nuclear fuel (тепловыделяющие сборки) right up until 2018, keeping it in “near-station pools” (в пристанционных бассейнах) as was done, for example, at Fukushima, after the nuclear disaster there. But this is just a temporary measure, while they are busy constructing a central storage for spent nuclear fuel.
Which begs the question, will they be able to complete this central storage by 2018? Especially taking into account the financial and technical bankruptcy of the Ukrainian company, EnergoAtom? Earlier, the Ukrainians had pledged to build the storage container by 2012, but obviously they missed that deadline by a whopper.
The piece goes on to say, that EnergoAtom do actually have money in their budget to pay the bill to Rosatom. However, the company still can’t pay, because its assets have been seized. The assets were seized by a certain shady entity of the type “Closed (or non-public) Auction Society (ЗАО – закрытое акционерное общество) For Direct or Wholesale Purchase (СП – Совместная покупка)” — at least I think that is what СП means – these acronyms can be very confusing… In any case, the name of the entity in question is UkrElektroVat (Укрэлектроват). Which, despite its name, is no vatnik operation.
So, this UkrEletroVat, which has seized all the assets and cash of EnergoAtom, is demanding that the latter pay it 127.3 million hryvnas. This arrest of its accounts is what has effectively prevented Energoatom from doing the work it is supposed to do, and from paying its bills to the Russian company.
Which begs the question: Who is actually behind UkrElektroVat?
Who is that little man behind the curtain?
[to be continued]