Nuclear science hub to be built near Chornobyl

The North Ukrainian Nuclear Science Hub will be built in Slavutych, Ukraine, as reported by Promyslovyi Portal.

  • The project will be implemented by the Regional Development Agency and Slavutych city authorities with the participation of stakeholders. They plan to involve IAEA monitoring teams and nuclear scientists from around the world.
  • The North Ukrainian Nuclear Science Hub will be located in the building of the city’s Professional Development Center. A unique feature of the hub will be its digital simulator of advanced nuclear reactors.
  • The hub will have conference rooms, open plan office, and a local branch of the National Technical University of Ukraine “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.” No timeframe for the project implementation has been announced.
  • According to the authorities, the hub will help develop the Chornobyl NPP, look for ways to further use the exclusion zone, develop green energy based on the closed power plant, and consider projects for the storage and disposal of nuclear waste generated by Ukrainian nuclear power plants.

Why Slavutych?

With the help of the hub in Slavutych, it is planned to create a kind of “think tank” for nuclear and green energy in Ukraine.

The city was built after the Chornobyl disaster to accommodate thousands of employees evacuated from the affected area. The authorities at the time decided that the Chornobyl NPP would continue to produce electricity, so its employees continued to work, commuting to the plant by electric trains and vehicles.

After the final closure of the Chornobyl nuclear power plant in 2000, thousands of townspeople lost their jobs. In the same year, Energoatom created Atomremontservis, a company focused on repairing and maintaining nuclear power plants and building nuclear power facilities. Despite this, not everyone has enough work, so there is a gradual outflow of people to Chernihiv and Kyiv.

The North Ukrainian Nuclear Science Hub will boost the development of a single-industry town. The project initiators hope to create new jobs for the locals in the nuclear energy and IT sectors.

Why it is interesting

Ukrainians have already experienced a lack of electricity. In the energy development strategy for Ukraine until 2050, an important point is the development of nuclear generation. It is planned to build the 3rd and 4th power units of Khmelnytsky NPP, create a network of small nuclear reactors in Ukraine based on the technology of the US company Westinghouse Electric, and maintain the already operating units of four Ukrainian NPPs.

Slavutych is a city with extensive experience in the nuclear energy industry. Therefore, it is reasonable to create a center of innovation in this area here. It is also about developing new areas of activity in the city, primarily in science.