Ukraine and Canada will collaborate to strengthen nuclear security and implement new nuclear energy technology
Nuclear energy, including the advancement of small modular reactor technologies, is set to expedite the energy transition and contribute to Ukraine's economic resurgence founded on principles of sustainable development.
During a meeting with the President of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and the Head of the International Nuclear Regulators Association (INRA), Rumina Velshi, Yaroslav Demchenkov, Deputy Minister of Energy of Ukraine, underscored this point.
The discussion between Deputy Minister Demchenkov and the Canadian counterparts encompassed various aspects of nuclear and radiation safety. Demchenkov noted that Russia continues to exert its presence in the nuclear technology market, leveraging the specter of a radiation catastrophe at Europe's largest nuclear power plant. Curiously, Russia remains mostly unscathed by sanctions within the nuclear sector. Minister of Energy Herman Halushchenko has repeatedly emphasized Russia's violation of all seven principles of nuclear and radiation safety, effectively undermining established norms contrary to international agreements on nuclear security. This issue of nuclear safety is a foundational element of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's Peace Formula.
In the course of the meeting, Yaroslav Demchenkov emphasized that reinforcing global standards of nuclear safety is a paramount objective in safeguarding people, the environment, and future generations from the adverse repercussions of nuclear incidents or conflicts. Achieving this goal will be facilitated through the implementation of modern technologies for the storage and safeguarding of nuclear materials, elevated levels of training and awareness, as well as the formulation of joint crisis response strategies.
Ms. Velshi expressed her concern regarding the situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (Zaporizhzhia NPP). Both parties deliberated on potential avenues to enhance collaboration between the regulatory bodies of both nations and international alliances of nuclear regulators worldwide to ensure robust nuclear safety protocols at the plant.
The meeting also delved into the prospects of nuclear energy and nuclear technologies.
Deputy Minister Demchenkov highlighted that nuclear energy will form a significant component of Ukraine's future climate-neutral energy matrix.
"Canada's valuable experience in replacing thermal coal generation and decarbonizing major enterprises using nuclear energy as a sustainable alternative is instructive for us. This paradigm shift has resulted in improved environmental conditions and the overall quality of life for the citizens of Canada. Contemporary innovations and technologies have made nuclear generation a secure, flexible, and environmentally-friendly energy source. Our focus must be on enhancing our project management capabilities within the field of nuclear energy, enhancing the competencies of our professionals, introducing novel educational programs, and updating safety standards across the nuclear industry," underscored Yaroslav Demchenkov.