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Monday, July 24, 2017

Control over the Ukrainian nuclear power plant intercepts a mysterious company

“Having under control 50% of Ukrainian electricity, you can dictate terms to the entire industry and the entire population of the country.” So energy describe the background of the events that have shaken the company, which controls all nuclear power plants of Ukraine. Put forward several versions of who is behind the attempts to seize this important and very profitable tool.

Rosatom forced to suspend the export of spent nuclear fuel from Ukrainian nuclear power plants because of nonpayment, said the Rosatom Director for public policy in the field of radioactive waste Oleg Kryukov.

“This criminal and corrupt scheme. Such action had been taken even in the 90-ies, when at Energoatom also had a lot of debt, but the government did not allow the arrest of accounts”

He assured that Rosatom intends to continue the execution of the contract with Kiev for processing in Russia of spent nuclear fuel from Ukrainian nuclear power plants. Now, however, Kiev has problems with the payment, so the “first flight (with a new batch of spent fuel) deferred”. The removal of fuel resumes, when a Ukrainian company will list a set contract fee. Kiev a year pays Russia $ 160 million for the export of nuclear fuel and had to make an advance payment in may, but it never happened.

How long Ukraine will be able to provide for the safe storage of non-fuel? Worked for many years in the Ukrainian nuclear energy Alex Anpilogov, now head of the historical research Foundation “the Foundation”, says that in theory Ukraine will be able to store fuel TVs (fuel assemblies) until 2018 in the NPP pools, as was done, for example, at Fukushima, is not yet to be built facility (centralized storage of spent nuclear fuel). “But this is a temporary measure,” he says.

So another question arises – whether to build this store in the specified period to 2018, especially given the financial and technical insolvency Energoatom? Previously promised to build the repository by 2012, but the project is still at the zero stage.

Money from Energoatom to pay for the services of Rosatom are available, but to use them Ukrainian company is unable because of the arrest of its accounts and property. The arrest has achieved a kind of ZAO SP “Ukrelectromash”, which requires to recover from Energoatom 127,3 million. The arrest of accounts has effectively blocked the work of Ukraine’s largest power generating company.

Security threat

“The problems are not limited to spent nuclear fuel,” says Anpilogov. From-for arrest of accounts have faced the threat of stopping the supply of Russian fuel for Ukrainian nuclear power plants. Rosatom noted that while the Ukrainian nuclear power plants with enough fuel for sustained performance. However, under the agreement Energoatom orders and pays for the fuel for 150 days before the delivery date. Therefore, in case of late advance payments of the time of production of fuel to Energoatom can be shifted.

According to the head of atomprofsoyuz Alexei Lych, Energoatom will need to pay a $ 150 million prepayment to Russia has started to produce fuel assemblies (nuclear fuel). That is, conventionally, after five months, Ukraine could remain without nuclear fuel.

To delay the problem with the financing, the Ukrainian nuclear power plant will begin sparingly fuel. For this they have to delay the launch which is now in the repair of power units. And as of may 30 for repair are 9 from 15 power units of Ukrainian NPPs. The danger the inability to pay for parts, hit the alarm and the Minister of energy and coal industry of Ukraine Igor Nasalik. But if Energoatom will not be able to ensure the safety of nuclear power (it takes money), the State Inspectorate for nuclear regulation of Ukraine will have to stop operation of the power units, said earlier the head of the regulator Sergey Bozhko.

All this creates a real risk of a full stop of Ukrainian nuclear power plants, which provide 50-60% of power generation in the country. However, the prospect of leaving the country without electricity pales against the background of the threat of another Chernobyl.

Nuclear scientists are facing the street

Lock accounts Energoatom raises serious questions of nuclear scientists.

The Union and the employees of the nuclear energy already spent a protest action on April 26 and announced its renewal on may 31. About two thousand employees of Energoatom plan to picket the building of the presidential administration and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. They are outraged that the Ukrainian authorities continue to ignore the issues of financial security of performance of nuclear plants and oppose the attempts behind the scenes to push through a resolution on the so-called corporatization of Energoatom (that is, the privatization of the company).

Plan bring Energoatom to bankruptcy and sale

Parallel to the arrest of accounts unfolds another story against state-owned companies. The Verkhovna Rada is preparing a base for the sale of Energoatom in private hands. According to the head of trade Union of atomic scientists, authorities together with representatives of the nuclear industry developed the law on peculiarities of privatization of Energoatom.

The Union learned that the Ministry has prepared a behind the scenes another not agreed with the nuclear industry, the bill for the sale of Energoatom. According to the Lych, the bill does not consider features of operation of a nuclear complex, its implementation will lead to the retirement of the company’s management and nuclear power plant qualified technical personnel, and in General this project can deprive the state of control of Energoatom. “And today, as well as taking into account Chernobyl, none of the staff willing to follow the instructions of the professionals who do not understand the safe operation of nuclear installations,” – said the Lych.

In his view, the pushing of this bill, coupled with the inaction of the authorities, who do nothing in order to remove the arrest from the accounts, sounds like a plan bring Energoatom to bankruptcy. The fact is that, under this bill, if Energoatom fails to pay debts to avoid default, the company should transfer part of its shares to creditors. That is, everything goes to the fact that ZAO SP “Ukrelectromash” will be the main owner of Energoatom and will have control over the entire nuclear power industry of the country.

Doubtful debt, a phantom company

Where did this debt, to stop the work of Energoatom, and what kind of company that could gain control over the entire nuclear energy of Ukraine? In whose interests do they act?

It all started with the fact that Energoatom in 1996 signed an agreement with offshore Holding company AC Energy (USA) for the supply of nuclear fuel, but not fully paid for services. In 2000, the AC Energy Holding transferred to the company “Ukrelectromash” rights on demand debt with Energoatom on 2,5 million hryvnias. She began to pursue the debt through the courts. Decisions of numerous courts that Energoatom was not even invited, the debt of the company before BUT the “Ukrelectromash” increased from 2.5 million USD to 127,3 million USD. In 2012, the court obliged Energoatom to pay this amount, but then to enforce the judgment was impossible owing to the moratorium on bankruptcy of energy companies, prohibiting debt recovery from Energoatom. In January of this year the Verkhovna Rada has extended the moratorium until the end of the year, but the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko vetoed the law. It was after this “Ukrelektromash” and managed to achieve arrest of accounts of the company.

“This criminal scheme, which raises Energoatom on the brink of survival. At the suit of a private company on 127 million UAH – a ridiculous amount – arrested financial accounts of Energoatom, which only has assets of several billion dollars”, – says Alexei Anpilogov. The concern is not only raised in 50 times the amount of debt, but the company itself “Ukrelectromash” with unknown beneficiaries.

“The company that will have control over “Energoatom”, will have control over Ukraine. You can dictate the terms, in fact, the entire industry and the entire population of the country “

In Ukraine, circulating multiple versions of who might stand for “Ukrelectromash”.

Earlier in the Ukrainian media wrote that the bankruptcy and privatization of Energoatom interested right hand Arseniy Yatsenyuk and the main sponsor of his party Mykola Martynenko, who for many years headed the Committee on fuel and energy complex, nuclear policy and nuclear safety of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and was the unofficial curator of Energoatom.

In the investigation of anti-corruption program Denis Bigus “Our money”, which was shown on the TV channel ZIK in mid-April, is quite the opposite version: “Ukrelectromash” is firm-a Ghost, close to the former Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Oleg Tsarev and brothers Sergei and Andrei Klyuev. The Tsar was the head of the Donetsk regional organization “Party of regions”, but during the conflict in the Donbas moved to the side of the rebels fighting against the Ukrainian army. Andriy Klyuyev in the 2000s was the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine on fuel and energy complex and also included in the Party of regions.

According to journalists, the company is registered in an apartment in Dnipropetrovsk, which is a resident Nikolai Frolov. “The namesake of Nikolai Nikolaevich Frolov, at a time when “Ukrelectromash” won in courts on claims against Energoatom, he worked as the assistant people’s Deputy of Ukraine Oleg Tsarev… Some employees “Ukrelectromash” in parallel worked at the Dnipropetrovsk paper factory belonged to Tsarev,” – reports the Ukrainian edition ZN.ua. Thus, this version displays on the Russian trail. Especially given the fact that today, according to some, Tsarev living in Russia.

However, the version that the company “Ukrelectromash” is Martynenko – “grey cardinal” when Yatsenyuk, Pro-Russian Oleg Tsarev, breaking on the fact that the hook for the arrest of the shares of Energoatom pulled personally Poroshenko.

More probable is the theory that the potential new owner Energoatom may be local oligarchs or the Americans. According to the head of trade Union of atomic scientists, it is in the interests of our oligarchic structures”. “If not directly, then you need these detours to go, to still nuclear power to someone to pass,” says Lych.

The American trail

The idea about the American track suggests the fact that registered in Dnepropetrovsk, the company was listed as a joint Ukrainian-American venture with foreign investment. In the U.S. the track is nothing surprising, considering that for years the US is trying to oust Rosatom from the Ukrainian market: they want to supply their own fuel for Ukrainian nuclear power plants, and build in the Chernobyl exclusion zone private repository for disposal of spent nuclear fuel.

Thus, the American company Westinghouse for many years trying to replace Russian nuclear fuel for its. Despite the warnings of Russian nuclear scientists about the insecurity of download American fuel at Soviet nuclear power units, Ukraine continued to tempt fate. Fuel Westinghouse has repeatedly led to disaster.

Recently the chief of nuclear safety Department of the South Ukrainian nuclear power plant Vladimir of Rostov said that Ukraine uses American fuel already six reactors at two nuclear power plants – South-Ukrainian and Zaporizhzhya. While in the reactors loaded with both Russian and American fuel. However, by 2018, according to Rostov, Energoatom intends to fully fill the active area of one of the reactors solely fuels the American-Japanese company Westinghouse.

Finally, literally at the beginning of this year, Ukraine has stepped up buried nine years ago, plans to build together with the Americans own centralized repository for spent nuclear fuel (csfsf) to stop using the processing services of Rosatom. In January, Belgium’s Energoatom signed an agreement with the American Corporation Holtec International on the construction of such storages in the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl NPP. The essence of the contract was not disclosed, it was noted that Energoatom should pay $ 300 million to the Americans for the supply of equipment by 2020.

The advancement of Americans in the Ukraine like no one bothers. Why should they control over “Energoatom”? The fact that Energoatom no extra money for the huge investments required for the implementation of U.S. projects in the country. And at his own expense to carry out the ambitions on the nuclear power market of Ukraine the Americans clearly do not want. But when Energoatom will pass from state hands to private hands, the new owners will be able to raise the electricity tariffs (they are today in Ukraine the lowest in Europe). If the new owner will represent the interests of the United States, he with ease at the expense of Ukrainian citizens and industry will raise money to implement projects as the American fuel and nuclear waste storage.

“Energoatom is one of the few attractive assets. The company, which will receive control over “Energoatom”, will have control over Ukraine. Having under control 50% of Ukrainian electricity, you can dictate terms to the entire industry and the entire population of the country. A simple example – it is the policy of the Finnish investors in the Tyumen heating systems. When they privatized and monopolized the supply of thermal energy in Tyumen, they stated that at times are forced to raise prices to recoup their investment. I think that a similar policy will be used in the case of Energoatom. And yet this enterprise is state ownership, their goal is the complexity of the financial situation of the company so cheap as possible to gain control over “Energoatom”, – says Alexey Anpilogov.

Of course, the new owner Energoatom may not have American trace. All of this can stand a simple local oligarch, supported, apparently, Petro Poroshenko. But this fact does not change. If through the mind and the qualification of Ukrainian nuclear scientists will be able in such difficult conditions and to avoid another Chernobyl, to avoid increasing tariffs is unlikely to succeed.

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