In this seminar, we explore the centrality of nuclear power to Ukraine’s energy landscape, its history and its future. Home to 15 nuclear reactors, including one of the largest in the world, and with extensive plans to increase capacity in the coming years, most of Ukraine’s electricity comes from nuclear power plants. While nuclear power has a minimal carbon footprint over the course of its lifecycle, it brings unresolved questions of what to do with the nuclear waste material alongside a permanent spectre of nuclear disaster. Ukraine has already experienced the Chernobyl disaster, heightening anxieties about potential risks that bombardment and seizure by the Russian army pose for Ukraine and Eurasia. Furthermore, the Russian invasion has drawn focus to the potential strategic problems with relying on highly centralized power production methods like nuclear energy to maintain a stable infrastructure in times of crisis.
We ask: what is the place of nuclear energy in the country’s future? How can the international community ensure security and safety of nuclear infrastructures? And at a time when climate targets focus on carbon emissions, what does the future hold for nuclear energy in Ukraine and beyond?
This event is part of the Ukraine: Energy in the Spotlight series.
Image courtesy of UMA . Copyright: Lokal History Museum of Slavutych and Chornobyl NPP.