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DECEMBER 14, 1998   9;18 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Greenpeace
Tobias Muenchmeyer, Greenpeace Intl, +31 20 523 62 57 (in Amsterdam)
 
No Western Financing For New Chernobyls In Ukraine, Says Greenpeace
 
AMSTERDAM - December 14 - On the International Day of protest against the K2/R4 reactors organized by European anti-nuclear groups, Greenpeace released a report showing that the environmental impact assessments (EIA) on the completion of the reactors Khmelnitsky 2 and Rovno 4 in Ukraine do not comply with European Union (EU) standards.

Published on the last day before the public participation process on the completion of two nuclear reactors is completed, this report confirms that the EIA requirement of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has not been met.

The EBRD is currently considering the funding, together with the EU and Russia, of a $ 1.7 billion project for the reactors no.2 at Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant (NPP) and no.4 at Rovno NPP, known as 'K2/R4'. Both are Soviet designed pressurized water reactors of the type VVER-1000. The end of the public participation process opens the way for a final decision which is expected early next year.

The report, compiled by the German Oeko-Institute, also exposes dramatic safety problems, underlining how "the sites of the Rovno and Khmelnitsky power plants are very disadvantageous in respect to cooling water supply and for Rovno also for geological reasons".

At the same time, the environmental group released visual evidence on the violations and deficits of the public participation process.

"There hasn't been any real attempt to inform the public on the risks related to the K2/R4 reactor", says 20 year-old environmentalist Tanya Mursa form Rovno.

"The environmental impact assessment including the public participation process has to be started again", said Greenpeace nuclear expert Tobias Muenchmeyer.

In addition to the report and TV images, Greenpeace is releasing a briefing paper 'Critique of Technical, Economic and Financial Viability of Khmelnitsky 2 and Rovno 4 Nuclear Reactors in Ukraine", summarising the technical, economic and financial aspects of the K2/R4 project. "The completion of the K2/R4 reactors does not fulfill any of the EBRD's financing criteria. It is dangerous, uneconomic and it is clear that those loans won't ever be repaid", added Muenchmeyer.

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