Ukraine's PM sees no alternatives to nuclear power
Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov backed the use of nuclear power Thursday, the 26th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, saying it was currently irreplaceable in the country`s energy mix, according to Xinhua.
"We do not have an alternative to nuclear power for the next 10 or 20 years. Moreover, we will develop it," Azarov said during a meeting with nuclear officials in the emergency and technical center, "Energoatom", in Belogorodka village in Kiev region.
Ukraine`s struggling economy could not afford to switch to renewable energy because of its high cost, he said, adding the prime cost of nuclear power was "fifty times" lower that the prime cost of solar energy.
Azarov said Ukraine had taken steps to strengthen its energy independence for the first time in 20 years.
This year, work would start on two new nuclear units at the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant, Azarov said, adding the government also planned to begin development of a plant to produce semi-finished products of nuclear fuel.
Azarov said the Ukrainian nuclear industry was safe and the efficiency of nuclear plants met all the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
A series of explosions at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 destroyed the No. 4 reactor and spread radiation across European and Asian countries.