Ukraine to speed nuclear power

July 17, 2008 at 7:48 PM

KIEV, Ukraine, July 17 (UPI) -- Ukraine wants to push nuclear power in an effort to end its dependence on fuel imports.

On a trip to Vienna to meet with Austrian President Heinz Fischer, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko announced Ukraine has plans to speed up its development and implementation of nuclear power, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

Like many Eastern European nations, Ukraine still receives much of its energy sources from Russia in the form of natural gas.

Yushchenko said he wants to see more nuclear reactors operational by 2013, even though there is no definitive plan in place.

Right now, Ukraine has 15 operational nuclear reactors, and the goal is to reach 22 reactors.

In addition to increasing the number of reactors, Yushchenko told Fischer he wants to improve the safety of the reactors and use more efficient, newer technology.

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