Lecturing at the National University today, Victor Yushchenko urged Ukrainians to honestly and professionally find ways to store nuclear waste.

“If we want to use nuclear energy, we must learn to safely store nuclear waste,” he said, President's press office reported.

The President reiterated that Ukraine’s four power plants currently produce 54% of electric energy but none of them has a modern depot for nuclear waste.

“We are living in times when one must address such issues. Like the two previous presidents, I can say nothing but that is not how one should respond to the challenge. We must honestly face the existing problem,” he opined.

The Head of State said sooner or later experts would have to build depots for nuclear waste.

“This issue belongs to experts who should reach understanding with society. But it should never be politicized,” Yushchenko remarked.

The President said we must distinguish betweenused nuclear fuel and nuclear waste. Fuel contains uranium and plutonium, which can be reused as energy.

“But Ukraine has to store nuclear waste here in accordance with international agreements. We cannot leave this waste in other countries,” he said.

Yushchenko reminded those present that in 2006 Ukraine would have to pay USD 120 mln to Russia for processing its used fuel, but in 2012 nuclear waste would be brought back to Ukraine. He said our government tried to solve the problem constructively and urged all to avoid “adventurous political statements.”


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