April 13, 2022

Is there a Role for Nuclear Power in Ukraine?

First, let’s deal with Russia’s losses as of today in the war in Ukraine. This is what we are looking at and we think the numbers are reliable.

  • Russian Troops 19,500 Dead
  • Russians Injured 20,000 probably 30,000
  • Tanks 725
  • Artillery Systems 374
  • Aircraft 154
  • Helicopters 137

Russia cannot take these kinds of losses if they continue at their present pace, for more than a few months. They can’t afford what it is costing them in dollars, and they can’t afford to deplete their military to the extent that they already are. More importantly, they are displaying to the world their utter failure as a dominant power. Their troops are improperly trained, prepped, or motivated with terrible leadership and their equipment is clearly not up to top draw, doesn’t function as well as NATO equipment, and is not technologically advanced enough. And this is what they are displaying to the world. The Indian army would rip the Russian army apart and forget about Special Forces. Russia’s Special Operations people are no match for either US Special Forces or those belonging to England, France, or Germany.

Now as for the role of nuclear power in Ukraine, this is what we must consider. Russia’s probable ultimate goal in invading Ukraine was to bring as much of the country physically under Moscow’s sphere of influence as possible. If they could not do that, they wanted to keep it out of the West’s hands. Russia also desperately wanted to govern the energy resources and sources of Ukraine mostly in the central part of the country and the east because they were never going to get to the western part of Ukraine. Russia also wanted the uranium deposits for themselves and to deny them to NATO and America. The power plants run by nuclear energy were also on the list.

For 20 years Russia has been concerned about Ukraine having nuclear weapons, nuclear power via atomic reactors, and Uranium deposits. They desperately wanted these options denied to Ukraine and safely in the hands of the Russians. Nothing in the current literature or Western media talks about this. Russia wants to win the battle with the West of monopolizing Ukraine’s nuclear industry. Being able to do this would prevent Ukraine from ever being a nuclear power and more importantly, keep Ukraine dependent on Russia for energy needs, think of Germany today and its reliance on Russia. An act of sheer stupidity and certainly exhibits no forward-thinking.

Only a few short years ago, Ukraine had more nuclear weapons than England or France. It actually had the third-largest number of atomic bombs in the world all of which were pointing toward the United States. Back in 1990, the country created the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine. By doing so they pledged to not participate in military blocs and adhered to three nuclear-free principles and be a permanently neutral state. But wait, there’s more. Back in 1994 the United States, Russian, and Ukraine created the Budapest Memorandum. In this agreement, Ukraine would give up all its nuclear weapons. They in turn would get security guarantees from Russia, England, and the United States. Listen, they had 2,000 nuclear bombs at the time on top of missiles and about 2,500 tactical warheads. They were all built by the former USSR, but they were in Ukraine’s hands and territory.

Here’s the most interesting part. We think Ukraine has everything it needs to restore itself in terms of being a nuclear power. They have the scientific and technological knowledge, the scientists, the engineers, the materials, the uranium (remember they still have several reactors). They can produce rocket launcher systems, software, rockets themselves, and solid propellant engines. If North Korea can do it then the Ukrainians can do it much more easily.

In Kharkiv itself, there is an experimental nuclear complex. Russia has even gone so far as to publicly state that Ukraine is in the process of creating enriched uranium in that complex. The country has also been operating several other nuclear power plants numbering four at the moment.

This country which everyone thinks is playing second fiddle to Russia before the Russian invasion got somewhere between 40 and 50% of its energy from nuclear power with another 27% coming from thermal power stations in both central and eastern Ukraine. They were getting their nuclear fuel from Russia but this is not a problem for at least the next 12 months.

What’s going to happen now is that Zelenskiy and Ukraine will rethink their position on nuclear power. They did begin this process back in 2014 when the Russians invaded and took Crimea from them. They haven’t paid much attention to the issue since then, but they are thinking about it now. Before the invasion, President Zelenskiy attended a conference in Germany in Munich and he was quoted as saying that if the signatories of the Budapest Memorandum meaning Russia and the United States won’t guarantee Ukraine’s security, and territorial integrity, Ukraine must become a nuclear power again. Russia fears this and part of the logic of the invasion is to prevent this. With 2% of the uranium reserves of the world in Ukrainian soil, Kyiv doesn’t need any outside help, something else to ponder and consider.