Aug 19, 2019 | Updated: 12:01 PM EDT

Ukraine Uses Nuclear Power Despite Having History Of Chernobyl Disaster

May 01, 2017 04:19 AM EDT

A general view of Mihama nuclear power station No 1 reactor (R), No 2 reactor (C) and No 3 reactor (L) which is run by Kansai Electric Power Co, on March 8, 2012 in Mihama, Japan.
(Photo : Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)

Despite suffering from the fatal nuclear accident 31 years ago at Chernobyl, Ukraine is still using atomic power in order to give electricity to all homes and establishments in the country. It is because the country struggled with a coal shortage after a three-year war against Russian-powered insurgents living in the separatist east.

In a report published in, Ukraine, a now crisis-torn country, uses atomic power for more than half of the electricity the country needs. The figure had a nearly three-quarters of all power consumed by the citizens during the natural gas price disputes with Russia from 2014 to 2016.

Although this has been a help for the citizens of Ukraine, some are still worried that the Chernobyl disaster would happen again. Iryna Golovko of the National Ecological Center of Ukraine's energy projects department said that the main risk of using nuclear energy in Ukraine is linked with the reactors that have already surpassed their lifespan.

"Today, six of Ukraine's 15 operating reactors have surpassed their designated service lives," she said in an interview with AFP. Golovko added that by 2020, there would already be 12 of theses operating reactors.

Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko promised the public to pressure and ban all trade with the separatist east last March 15 after they have controlled the coal reserves. He said that the use of nuclear power would have the share of total electricity production.

Before Ukraine had the conflict with the Russian insurgents, 46 percent of establishments in the country are using nuclear energy. After Poroshenko's announcement, the share of nuclear power production jumped to 62 percent from around 55 percent.

Thirty-one years ago, Ukraine was faced with a disaster after the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl exploded. The horrible incident happened in the north part of the former Soviet Ukraine last April 26, 1986, after a test caused an accident at 1:23 AM. This caused thousands of lives lost with the country still suffering from the consequences.

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