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To Yulia Tymoshenko | 29Oct2009 | Will Zuzak

Nuclear Fission Reactor Technology for Ukraine

Embassy of Ukraine in Canada
310 Somerset St., West, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 0J9

Via Email: nlysova@beauty.net.ua; emb_ca@ukremb.ca

Date: 29 October 2009

Dear Yulia Tymoshenko:

As the Prime Minister of Ukraine, as well as a candidate in the upcoming Presidential  elections, you carry a heavy responsibility to promote and ensure energy self-sufficiency for Ukraine -- in the field of nuclear energy, as well as oil and natural gas.

An article in the 10 October 2009 issue of Zerkalo Nedeli by Oksana Kosharna outlines Russian intrigues to prevent Ukraine developing its own nuclear fission reactor technology. She describes in some detail the negotiations and proposed agreements to provide nuclear fuel for Ukraine's nuclear reactors, in which, presumably, you and President Yushchenko were involved,  as well as Russian attempts to freeze out the involvement of Westinghouse and thus blackmail Ukraine into using only Russian-supplied fuel.

I have archived this article on my website, together with an English-language translation and links to my previous articles and comments. Allow me to discuss the issue under three headings -- Iran, KIPT and Canada.

IRAN

I am sure that you are fully aware that under the specious claim that Iran's program to develop technology to produce fuel for its nuclear reactor(s) is a prelude to producing nuclear weapons, the United States and Israel are threatening to attack Iran. I have previously stated:

"I suspect that the real motive behind the U.S./European/Russian attitude towards Iran’s nuclear program is not to preclude the development of nuclear weapons; it is to preclude the development of nuclear technology for the production of electricity outside of U.S./European/Russian control. The “West”/Russia are establishing a stranglehold on the world’s oil and natural gas supplies; they appear to want to establish a similar stranglehold on nuclear fission reactor technology."

In my opinion, second-world countries (such as Iran and Ukraine) and even third-world countries should be encouraged (rather than discouraged) to develop nuclear programs to produce electricity for their citizens. This would contribute to third-world development (and eventually world peace) far more than all the billions in "foreign aid", presently being dumped into black holes and magically reappearing in the bank accounts of the "international money mafia". Ukraine must not succumb to the mechanations of the American and Israeli war-mongers.

KIPT

I am not intimately familiar with the expertise in nuclear energy available within Ukraine. Nevertheless, it is recognized that the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology (KIPT) pioneered the establishment of nuclear physics research within the Soviet Union in 1932. Many famous scientists were associated with this Institute and, despite the Holodomor and the Great Terror of the 1930s, it remains a very competent institution to this day. (See "Laboratory No. 1: Nuclear Physics in Ukraine" by Yurij Ranyuk, AKTA 2005, ISBN 966-7021-93-9 -- in Ukrainian.)

Perhaps KIPT and similar institutions within Ukraine could be asked to develop a strategy for the optimum development of nuclear reactor technology and a complete nuclear fuel cycle for existing and future reactors. Although existing reactors within Ukraine are of the VVER-1000 and VVER-440 types, there is no reason to preclude the establishment of other types of reactors. This may entail collaboration with other countries, including the Russian Federation and the United States. What is important is that the design, construction, operation and fueling be carried out on Ukrainian soil controlled by citizens of Ukraine.

CANADA

The Kosharna article refers to negotiations with companies from South Korea and Canada; with Westinghouse and the French AREVA. Since I worked for Atomic Energy of Canada in the fields of fission and controlled nuclear fusion, I am rather familiar with Canada's CANDU reactor. The CANDU uses heavy water as a moderator and is, thus, extremely neutron efficient. It uses natural uranium as a fuel, such that no uranium enrichment is required. Furthermore, it can use a thorium-based fuel and an organic fluid as a coolant.

Should uranium enrichment prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, I could certainly recommend Ukraine considering the CANDU reactor as an alternate to the VVER design.


In conclusion, I would like to point out that the establishment of a Ukrainian nuclear industry is not just about producing electricity or energy self-sufficiency. It is about Ukraine developing a sophisticated technological infrastructure within which Ukrainian citizens can work and thrive. It is the difference between self-reliance and serfdom. I sincerely hope that the Ukrainian government can resolve this challenge for the benefit of Ukraine and its citizens.

Respectfully submitted
William Zuzak, Ph.D., P.Eng. (retired)
2009.10.29

The archival addresses of this file and the links referred to above are:
/tp/
/tp/wllzzk/zuzak20091029Tymoshenko.html
/tp/wllzzk/zuzak20070127Tymoshenko.html
/tp/ukrainophobia/kosharna20091010ZerkaloNedeli.html