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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 02, 1980

B.Y. PATON, PRESIDENT OF THE UKRAINIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, TO THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE UKRAINIAN SSR, 'ON THE VIABILITY OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF CHERNOBYL BLOCK 2'

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    Assessing the impact of building a second block at Chernobyl NPP, further research is needed to study: water diffusion after "flushing" will cause contamination that can reach Kiev; movement of flushed filtering water and ecological consequences; process of radionuclide collection to determine chance of mutations; microclimate changes due to heat releases and water demands. Plant will cover energy demand until 1992-1993, by 1985 can recommend further NPP building.
    "B.Y. Paton, President of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, to the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR, 'On the Viability of the Construction of Chernobyl Block 2'," July 02, 1980, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Ukrainian National Chornobyl Museum. Contributed by Anna Korolevska and Adam Higginbotham. Originally obtained from the Central State Archives of Public Organizations of Ukraine. Translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208404
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[letterhead of the Ukrainian SSR Academy of Sciences]

2 July 1980 Nº 9p/74771

UKRAINIAN SSR COUNCIL OF MINISTERS

on the question of the advisability of the

construction of a Chernobyl AEhS Nº 2

in accordance with an assignment of Cde. V. V. Shcherbitsky, First Secretary of the CC of the Communist Party of Ukraine and Member of the CPSU CC Politburo, the UkSSR Academy of Sciences Presidium considers it advisable to present the following concerning the question of the construction of Chernobyl' AEhS Nº 2. In February 1980 the UkSSR Academy of Sciences Presidium created an interdepartmental commission concerning the ecological and economic questions of the development and siting of large energy complexes in the Ukrainian SSR. The commission included leading scientists of the Academy, representatives of the Ministries of Energy and Electrification, Reclamation, Water Resources, and Health, and the UkSSR State Committee of Nature Management. This commission discussed the ecological and economic questions of the construction of Chernobyl' AEhS Nº 2 and adopted a corresponding decision (a copy is attached) which was submitted to the UkSSR Council of Ministers.

The commission noted that the current practice of local siting of the AEhS in the republic might lead to the exhaustion of the "ecological capacity" of its individual regions and pointed to the need to develop a science-based model of the siting of AEhS['s] in the republic for the [next] 20-30 years which would take into account the entire complex of ecological and economic consequences of such construction. When this is done the creation of a large nuclear center in the area of the city of Chernobyl' should be viewed as a constituent part of such a model, but the question of the construction of Chernobyl' AEhS Nº 2 seems possible to decide after conducting an appropriate complex of scientific research.

At the present time a draft program of scientific research work for 1981-1985 has been drawn up concerning the ecological and economic consequences of the development and siting of the AEhS in the republic, and on 2 July of this year it will be considered with the involvement of representatives of the UkSSR Ministries of Energy, Water Resources and Health and also the UkSSR State Committee of Nature Management at meetings of the UkSSR Academy of Sciences' Scientific Council on Problems of the Biosphere.

Essentially the solution of the problem of the advisability of building Chernobyl AEhS Nº 2 requires scientific research to be conducted, the results of which will provide an opportunity:

1. to determine the diffusion of the wastewater of the Chernobyl' AEhS reservoir after "flushing". The need for this will arise periodically since the concentration of salts grows quickly in the reservoir, the water becomes unsuitable for cooling purposes, and should be completely dumped into the Pripyat' River. With the power of Chernobyl' AEhS Nº 1 at six million kilowatts 250 million cubic meters of water will be expended for such a "flushing" during the construction of Chernobyl' AEhS Nº 2, twice as much. The water discarded during the "flushing" goes into the Kiev Reservoir with all the contaminants. There is no basis to think that will be evenly mixed with the remaining water, and the appearance of a stratification of the current is possible. In this event the discarded water might pass through the entire Reservoir and reach the Dnepr Reservoir of the city of Kiev, maintaining a considerable concentration of its contaminants.

2. to study the complex movement of contaminated drainage water from the body of water of the Chernobyl' AEhS and an assessment of the ecological consequences of this phenomenon. At the present time the seepage loss of water in a year is about half the volume of the [Chernobyl' AEhS] body of water. This warm mineralized, contaminated water "collides" with the natural ground water. It is possible it will occupy a large territory of agricultural land without mixing with it [Translator's comment: the water].

3. to develop a projection of possible consequences from the construction of a large nuclear station in the area of the city of Chernobyl'. This first and foremost concerns the process of the accumulation of radionuclides in the plant and animal worlds, in water, on dry land, and in soil. The study of the migration of radionuclides allows the probability of their appearance in feed and food products to be determined, which might become a powerful mutagenic factor.

4. to [one word too faded to read] a forecast of the effect of the AEhS on the microclimate of the adjoining territory, allowing for its enormous warm discharge. It will constitute 12 million kilowatts of thermal power for the Chernobyl' AEhS with an electrical power of six million kilowatts, but this discharge will be doubled during the construction of the Chernobyl' AEhS. The AEhS cooling systems will release more than 180 million tons of steam into the atmosphere in a year. The large quantity of heat entering the water might lead to considerable local and general overheating, and also cause a sustained density stratification and a disruption of the oxygen regimen of water basins in large areas. This might lead to negative ecological consequences in the conditions which have developed in the republic of a limitation of water resources.

5. to assess the conditions of the water supply of the Chernobyl' AEhS Nº 2, considering the great stress [napryazhennost'] of the water balance of the Pripyat' basin [several words indistinct due to fading] a number of sanitary and hygiene questions of the construction of a nuclear station in an area located next to the recreation zone of the Kiev Reservoir. When this is done it is also necessary to note that according to the balance settlements the required capacity of the AEhS in the republic ought to be 21 million kilowatts at the 1990 level. At the present time the planned design capacity of the six AEhS under construction is 26 million kilowatts, but 28 million kilowatts, allowing for the construction of the Odessa Atomic Thermal Electric Power Plant with a capacity of two million kilowatts.

Preliminary calculations show that in pertinent [del'nye] areas it is sufficient to cover the requirement in the AEhS until 1992-1993. Research conducted will allow new areas to be recommended for the construction of AEhS['s] on the territory of the republic as soon as 1985 with allowance for the results of scientific developments in order to ensure the necessary rate of growth of new power capacity at atomic electric power stations in the long term.

President of the UkSSR

Academy of Sciences [signature] B. Ye. Paton

Academician

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