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Chernobyl lives on

On April 26, Ukraine marked 31 years since the Chernobyl disaster.

Published: 05th May 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th May 2017 11:43 PM   |  A+A-

On April 26, Ukraine marked 31 years since the Chernobyl disaster. Even though the country is still suffering from the trauma of the world’s worst nuclear accident, it has still turned the fuel into a prominent energy source, AFP reported

N-power in Ukraine
Ukraine uses atomic power for more than 50 per cent of its electricity needs as it struggles through a coal shortage sparked by the war against Russian insurgents
During the natural gas price disputes with Russia from 2014 to 2016, nearly 75% of all power consumed was nuclear. On April 26, Ukraine decided to continue using its communist-era nuclear reactors

Forced to go nuclear
The country has abundant coal reserves. But they lie mostly in regions controlled by Russian insurgents. In fact, Ukraine spent almost three years fighting the rebels, but at the same time enriching them by buying coal

On March 15
President Petro Poroshenko bowed to public pressure and banned trade with the separatist east. Shortly after this, the nuclear power’s share of total electricity production had jumped to 62 from around 55 per cent. It stood at 46 per cent before the war and economic crises in 2013

6 of Ukraine’s 15 operating reactors have outlived their designed service lives. By 2020, the number will rise to 12

Fear remains
But some citizens are worried that a similar catastrophe could hit their country again. Iryna Golovko of the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine’s energy projects department told AFP that the main risk in using nuclear power was associated with reactors that had exhausted their lifespan 

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