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Rebuttal of the blatantly manipulative position of the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine

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The charges against SE NNEGC “Energoatom” published on the official site of the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection on November 28 are manipulative and false and speak for the absence of any reasonable grounds for the dismissal of the President of Energoatom.

On November 28, SE NNEGC “Energoatom” employees assembled at the walls of the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine (MEEPU) (30 Khreshchatyk Street) demanding to stop blatant assaults on the nuclear power sector, to terminate the re-orientation of the energy vector towards the Russian Federation, and to reinstate Yuriy Nedashkovskyi, who has long emerged an embodiment of the pro-Ukrainian choice of the nuclear power industry, in his position of the President of the State Enterprise “National Nuclear Energy Generating Company “Energoatom”. The protest of Ukrainian nuclear power employees was ignited by pro-Russian actions of Minister Orzhel, which not only put an end to the future development of the State of Ukraine, but also jeopardize safe and reliable operation of Ukrainian NPPs.

Minister of Energy Oleksiy Orzhel got alarmed by such protests and urgently flew on business to meet with his Russian colleague Mr.Novak for negotiations. No wonder, he has often been spotted demonstrating his disrespect to Ukraine’s strategic industry, nuclear power industry, which generates 56% of electricity for Ukrainian consumers. The recent resolution of November 27 on dismissal of Yuriy Nedashkovskyi, which according to the Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Goncharuk was initiated by the Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine, was voted covertly, with no preliminary expert consultations, in the last minutes of the session of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and in breach of the established procedure, without a single personal face-to-face meeting between the Minister and Yuriy Nedashkovskyi. 

The charges against SE NNEGC “Energoatom” published on the official site of the MEEPU are manipulative, ungrounded and speak for the absence of any reasonable grounds for the dismissal of Energoatom President. Specifically, the allegedly “inefficient management” managed to pay UAH 11,5 bln. in tax, implement investment projects to the total of UAH 12,8 bln., generate almost 55% of electricity in Ukraine, and all that – while “enjoying” the world lowest tariff for electricity of 0,567 Ukrainian cent. Moreover, for the 9 months of 2019 NNEGC “Energoatom” has payed UAH 12,9 bln. (which is nothing less than 30% of all revenue raised from electricity sales) to the State Budget of Ukraine as well as budgets of all levels, non-budgetary funds, and as VAT during customs clearance. To the attention of the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine: for the 9 months of 2019, NNEGC “Energoatom” has paid to the State Budget in tax and levy just as much as it did for the whole 2017, and 15% more than for the whole 2018!

Despite the current tariff and blatant assaults on nuclear power industry employees, whose operations have been restricted to favor electricity import from the Russian Federation, «Energoatom” has successfully completed all safety peer reviews conducted by WANO and IAEA, which, by contrast to the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection, are staffed by pedigree professionals. The published MEEPU’s “allegations” of theft of state funds are not supported by any judicial evidence and pertain to events from more than 10 years ago. In fact, according to efficiency and transparency ratings, NNEGC “Energoatom” has been among leading companies in all recent years.

What kind of loss of production as a result of alleged “failure to meet outage and M&R schedule of NPP power units” is MEEPU talking about, when the output from Khmelnytskyi NPP Unit 2, which had just been connected to the grid ahead of schedule after the outage, was restricted by 25% to favor electricity import from the Russian Federation?

What kind of “permanent failure to deliver on financial plans”, failures to meet outage schedules and loan liabilities to EBRD and EURATOM is the Ministry of Energy (the Authorized Governance Body of Energoatom) talking about, when blocking, for two months already, all conceivable Company plans from financial to strategic. Because of this outspoken sabotage on part of the Ministry of Energy, “Energoatom” is unable to pursue any investment program – from the Comprehensive (integrated) safety upgrade program funded from EBRD and EURATOM loans to completion of Tashlyk HPSPP, which is so critical for balancing of the Unified Power System of Ukraine.    

More than that, analysis of what is referred to as “reasons” for the dismissal of Yuriy Nedashkovskyi  makes it clear that these were fabulated based on unsupported allegations of biased and non-professional organizations and individuals, rather than formed as a result of analysis by the Ministry of Company’s activity. The Company has provided numerous reasoned objections and counterarguments to such allegations, which for reasons still unknown were not considered by the Ministry. Thus the function of governance and control on the part of the Ministry in charge is not fulfilled and is substituted by an evidently sponsored function of unwarranted change of the President of SE NNEGC “Energoatom”.  

Protesters attending the warning rally – employees of NPPs and other Energoatom separated subdivisions – reached out to the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi with a request to take immediate action and reinstate Yuriy Nedashkovskyi in his position of Energoatom President. Because today Ukraine knows no other premium-grade competent professional, recognized among both Ukrainian and global nuclear community, who could stand up as a guarantor of safe and reliable operation of NPPs, sustainable development of the national nuclear power industry and Ukraine’s energy security.