The Ukraine state nuclear power company, Energoatom, started a public consultation over the future of two nearly complete nuclear power units.

The 120 day period will allow the public and government to air views over a project to complete the Khmelnitsky unit 2 and Rovno unit 4. Work on the two units was halted in 1991. Both of the units are Russian VVER 1000 designs. A memorandum of understanding signed by the G7 countries, the European Commission and Ukraine, completion of the two units forms part of a scheme that will ultimately result in the closure of the Chernobyl nuclear station.

With loans from international financial institutions, the project will bring the two units up to the safety standards of similarly aged, recently relicensed western nuclear plants. A study by US consultants Stone and Webster indicated that completion of the plants offers the least cost long-term development programme for the power sector in the Ukraine. The consultation process is required both by law and by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Ukraine is also looking to Russia for help with financing the completion projects.