Ukraine: Uranium mines stand still due to lack of funds –...


Uranium production in Ukraine has practically stopped. As the news agency dpa reports, the conveyor belts at all three uranium mines in the country are at a standstill due to insufficient funding.

In the state pits in the Kirovohrad Oblast, only the essential services for ventilation, pumping out and cleaning of the water work.

About 5000 workers are on unpaid leave. The reason for the shutdown are debts of the state company Energoatom in the amount of the equivalent of four million euros, it said. Energoatom is the only buyer of uranium.

Power cut could cause environmental disaster

The operation in the three shafts has ceased, the operating company is about to go bankrupt next spring, reported the news site »Korrespondent.net«. For a long time there have been wage arrears and a lack of protective clothing and equipment.

As the news agency dpa reports, trade unionists also fear a power cut because bills have not been paid. This means that water that penetrates into the area could no longer be pumped out and the area’s groundwater could become radioactively contaminated. According to the correspondent, this could lead to an environmental disaster.

The state-owned company Energoatom operates four nuclear power plants. The 15 power plant blocks produce over half of the electricity in the Eastern European country. The fifth power plant near Chernobyl was gradually shut down from 1986 to the end of 2000 after the accident.

The explosion of block four in the then still Soviet nuclear power plant is considered to be the greatest nuclear disaster in the civilian use of nuclear power. As a result, radioactively contaminated areas around the nuclear ruins were closed. There were thousands dead and injured. Tens of thousands of people have been forcibly relocated.
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https://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/ukraine-uranminen-stehen-wegen-geldmangel-still-umweltkatastrophe-droht-a-6a184749-948f-4c61-b339-cb3f18990648

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