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“Fact-checking, Carl” or the media have not noticed that the National ecological centre of Ukraine took over the powers of SNRIU spokesman

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Several Ukrainian mews media, including, in particular, a respected resource “Economic Truth”, had reprinted the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine (NECU) press-release, which alleged that the State Nuclear Regulating Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) had decided not to extend an operating license for Unit 2, South-Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant. Supposedly this was officially announced during the SNRIU Board meeting held on April, 30, 2015. 

It’s disheartening that not all journalists checked this information at the primary source, SNRIU. It worth a little effort to verify official SNRIU release regarding the latest Board meeting to make sure that the issue of operating license extension for Unit 2 of SUNPP had not been arisen. That is known for a fact by NECU representatives who attended the SNRIU Board meeting on April, 30, 2015. The Board meeting was devoted to examination of issue “On the status of works on the Unit 2 of South-Ukrainian NPP life extension”.  

As referred to SNRIU website, during an open debate the technical issues of fulfilment of measures to upgrade safety and lifetime extension of Unit 2 of South-Ukrainian NPP by operating organization SE NNEGC “Energoatom”  were discussed, as well as legal aspects, and public participation in decision-making process. Not a word about the licensing issue. In the meantime, on April, 14-17, 2015, the SNRIU Commission had conducted inspections of South-Ukrainian NPP. It was carried out within the Application proceeding of SE NNEGC “Energoatom” (as of 10.04.2014) “On variation of license EO №000064 on the right on carrying out activities “operation of nuclear facilities” at South-Ukrainian NPP” concerning operation of Unit 2 after termination of lifetime during the carrying of the essential works for lifetime extension.

Based on the results of SNRIU inspections, the regulator confirmed Energoatom’s capability to carry out the works in compliance with Application on variation of license ЕО №000064 as of July, 19, 2002, regarding capability to carry the stated activities on operation on Unit 2 of South-Ukrainian NPP in the shutdown state (with full fuel discharge from the nuclear reactor core to the at-reactor spent fuel pit) during the works for lifetime extension. At this stage a major scheduled maintenance lasts at Unit 2 of SUNPP, which previously planned to be completed this year in December.

The statement of “environmentally frightened” Denis Pushilin in December 2014 pops up in mind, which stated that the level of radiation in the surveillance zone of Zaporizhzhya NPP exceeded 14 times, owing to “experiments with American fuel, which led to unclear unit shutdown on October, 28”. Should we remind that not a single Westinghouse assembly (or Western House, as it spelled by Pushilin and particular antinuclear ecologists) had been loaded at ZNPP, and radiation background at the station, as well as today, range within normal limits. It’s a pity that         such respectful organization as NECU engaged in propaganda with the method of rotten herring. And then, and today, there are mass media with no intent to be concerned with fact-checking.

For this reason, we ask journalists to check information about the work of NPPs which comes from third party persons. This information is also available at State Nuclear Regulation Inspectorate, IAEA or WANO, whose experts are tracking the state of safety of Ukrainian NPPs on the regular basis and, due to their reports, the level of safety complies with international requirements.