BRITISH taxpayers are likely to pay part of the Pounds 1 billion-plus cost of two new nuclear power stations to replace Chernobyl in Ukraine following support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for the project and despite advice from University of Sussex consultants.
John Surrey of Sussex's science policy research unit found a range of ways of spending money that would be more effective than the EBRD plan, which involves completing two partly finished 1980s nuclear stations. These included improving Ukraine's power transmission system, increasing the energy efficiency of Ukrainian fossil fuel stations, and providing capital for the Ukrainian electricity industry, which cannot afford spare parts because only 7 per cent of bills are paid in cash.
But the EBRD has decided to put up Pounds 120 million of the cost of completing the two stations and will now try to find partners, probably including the UK, the United States, Russia, Japan, France and Germany, to pay the rest. US and continental European firms are keen on the project because it is a potential route into business there.