The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) has decided to extend the service life of unit 2 at the South Ukraine nuclear power plant by another 10 years until 31 December 2025.

Unit 2 was shut down on 10 May, two days before the expiry of its design lifetime, for 300 days of major upgrading costing $114m. It will be the fourth of Ukraine’s 15 nuclear units to be approved for life extension. Yury Nedashkovsky, CEO of nuclear utility Energoatom said the extension is not merely a corporate issue, but will improve Ukraine’s energy security.

The share of electricity generated by the nuclear industry has increased from 46% to 56% and at times accounts for as much as 60% of total energy consumption in Ukraine, he noted. Upgrading work at the reactor included replacement of obsolete equipment and implementation of ‘post-Fukushima’ safety measures, he said.