GreenYes Digest V98 #73

GreenYes Mailing List and Newsgroup (
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 17:32:10 -0500

GreenYes Digest Tue, 24 Mar 98 Volume 98 : Issue 73

Today's Topics:
(Fwd) Chernobyl 'Scam of the Century' Adds Dangers
EPR2 Conference Preregistration Deadline Extended
NRC Board Nominations April 3rd
Recycling feed bags
Zadorsky & Co, final

Send Replies or notes for publication to: <greenyes@UCSD.Edu>
Send subscription requests to: <greenyes-Digest-Request@UCSD.Edu>
Problems you can't solve otherwise to
Loop-Detect: GreenYes:98/73

Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 18:42:06 +0100
From: "Jerome Simpson" <> (by way of (Wim
Subject: (Fwd) Chernobyl 'Scam of the Century' Adds Dangers

Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 20:10:14 CET
From: "Jerome Simpson" <>
Subject: (Fwd) Chernobyl 'Scam of the Century' Adds Dangers
Mime-Version: 1.0
Precedence: Bulk

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998 16:22:23 -0700
From: "EnviroLink News Service:" <>
Subject: Chernobyl 'Scam of the Century' Adds Dangers


By Renfrey Clarke

MOSCOW, Russia, March 11, 1998 (ENS) - Battling the consequences of the
world's worst-ever nuclear disaster, at Chernobyl in 1986, the government
of Ukraine has received many hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid
for clean-up work and measures to improve nuclear safety.

Now comes the embarrassing question: how much of the aid money has been
spent as intended? Ukrainian environmentalists believe that vast sums have
been embezzled by crooked nuclear industry officials.

According to one prominent spokesperson for the environmentalists, the sum
creamed off could have been as much as US$740 million - making the theft
"the scam of the century." The same spokesperson has put the sum actually
spent on mitigating the dangers posed by the destroyed Chernobyl reactor at
"no more than a few million dollars."

Surfacing early in March, these allegations provided a sensational cap to a
week of controversy over the Ukrainian government's plans to shut down
Chernobyl for good. Embroiled in the furore have been the European
Commission, via the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
(EBRD); the government of Russia, with which Ukraine recently signed a
long-term program for economic cooperation; and U.S. Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright.

After Ukraine became independent at the end of 1991, large quantities of
money began to be funnelled to the country's nuclear energy authorities by
Western governments anxious to be seen responding to popular alarm at the
Chernobyl disaster.

In 1995 came an agreement with the Group of Seven advanced countries that
the Ukrainian government would close the remaining reactors at the
Chernobyl plant by the year 2000, in return for further aid. To the
consternation of environmentalists, it was envisaged that much of this
assistance, which was to be channelled through the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), would be used to fund the
construction of new nuclear power capacity to take the place of Chernobyl.

New reactor blocks were to be completed and commissioned at the Khmelnitsky
and Rovno plants in western Ukraine. The economics of this decision were
immediately queried, and in November 1996 an independent panel, including
two U.S. experts, was appointed to review the case for completing the

The panel came out strongly against the Khmelnitsky and Rovno reactors,
which the experts concluded were not economic. "Completing these
reactors," the panel's report stated, "would not represent the most
productive use of US$1 billion or more of EBRD/EU funds at this time."

The panel pointed out that Ukraine could make up for Chernobyl by using
non-nuclear options such as reconstructing existing thermal power plants
and increasing the efficiency of energy transmission and use.

During 1997 energy use in Ukraine continued to decline. At present, the
country has installed energy generation capacity of 55,000 megawatts, with
electricity demand of only 33,000 megawatts. The EBRD officials, however,
continued to listen to the arguments of the Ukrainian nuclear
establishment. A further study was commissioned, this time conducted by the
U.S. company Stone and Webster, a nuclear power contractor.

Then, late in February this year, the EBRD unexpectedly backed away from
the plan to complete the Khmelnitsky and Rovno reactors. The reactor
scheme was among eight of 13 projects, approved in 1995, which the bank
announced it would not finance.

Also rejected was funding for new safety provisions at the Chernobyl plant.
The EBRD announced that about S$15 million allotted for safety upgrades in
the plant's no. 3 reactor block would instead be reassigned to work on
decommissioning the plant.

This decision was taken after the Ukrainian authorities, citing economic
reasons, refused to schedule a maintenance shutdown of the no. 3 block for
late in 1998. Without the shutdown, the improvements to safety could not be

In refusing the maintenance shutdown, the Ukrainian officials were clearly
emboldened by hints that if the EBRD cut back its support, the Russian
government would step into the breach. During February, Russian and
Ukrainian leaders negotiated a ten-year economic cooperation agreement,
signed by Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma during a state visit to Moscow
at the end of the month.

On March 3 Kuchma announced that Russia had agreed to help finish the
Khmelnitsky and Rovno reactors. Russian sources indicated that the cost of
this work, put at US$150-180 million, would be provided from the Russian
budget. Ukraine would pay the sum back in the form of electricity supplies
to Russia over a ten-year period.

Environmentalists have warned repeatedly that the reactors under
construction at Khmelnitsky and Rovno - VVER-type pressurised water units
based on a Soviet design - are of dubious safety.
But the EBRD's decision to back away from the scheme was not based on the
dangers of nuclear power. By late February, the bankers had become
convinced that Ukrainian nuclear officials were ripping them off on a
colossal scale.

On February 18 the EBRD's representative in Ukraine, Yaroslav Kinakh,
received a report by a group of Ukrainian environmental organisations on
the "conservation" work performed at Chernobyl. A wide circle of nuclear
experts and plant administrators, the environmentalists charged, had
joined together in defrauding aid donors, siphoning off hundreds of
millions of dollars via dummy companies and consultancies.

After further investigations, Kinakh reported that, "our workers discovered
cases of money being spent on inappropriate tasks whose fulfilment would
not have a significant effect on the station's safety, and also on measures
which had been implemented in previous years."

A spokesperson for Ukraine's nuclear regulatory administration retorted
that misappropriating aid funds was "absolutely impossible." But in a
press interview in the first days of March Vladimir Usatenko, the head
consultant to the Ukrainian parliament's Chernobyl Committee, described in
detail how the scam had worked.


>From 1991 through 1995, Usatenko estimated, the officials had plundered
about US$560 million on the basis of work that was grossly overcharged,
only partially completed, unnecessary, or simply fictitious. They had then
planned to pocket a further US$300 million through charging a second time
for investigative work that had already been performed. In all, Usatenko
calculated, the officials had made off with about US$740 million. Only a
few million dollars, he considered, had really been spent usefully.

How could the bankers have allowed such carryings-on? Usatenko recounted a
conversation he had had with a senior European Commission nuclear safety
official, a man named Bonaccio. According to Bonaccio, the EBRD's staff had
been reluctant to question the insistence of Ukrainian nuclear experts
that particular spending was necessary. Non-experts themselves, the bank
officials had feared to withhold funds, sensing they would be held
responsible if a further disaster occurred.

Even where spending had been ill-documented, the bankers had not protested.
Responding to a question from a German deputy to the European Parliament,
Bonaccio had admitted that proper accounts existed only for about a third
of the total sum paid out.

In gambling that there would not be another catastrophe at Chernobyl, the
embezzlers subjected the Ukrainian population and environment to horrifying
risks. The steel and concrete containment vessel - the "sarcophagus" - that
covers the ruined reactor is deteriorating fast, and Usatenko speaks with
alarm of what might happen if large amounts of water were to penetrate to
the melted-down fuel.

Neutron levels within the sarcophagus, Usatenko states, are gradually
declining. But there is still no consensus on what long-term method to use
in order to contain the dangers. And now that most of the aid so far has
been shown to have been purloined, donors are unlikely to be generous when
the hat is passed around to fund further work.

Meanwhile, the Russian government has agreed to help finish the Khmelnitsky
and Rovno reactors, which Ukrainian energy consumers do not need and from
which only the country's still-formidable "nuclear mafia" stands to
benefit. The deal reflects strong continuing ties between nuclear industry
apparatchiks in Russia and Ukraine. Together, these forces have mounted a
push to win new markets for the nuclear power technology of the former
Soviet Union.

A major coup in this area has been the winning by Russia's nuclear power
industry of a contract - bitterly opposed by the U.S. - to build a nuclear
plant in Iran. Projections were that the turbines for this plant would be
supplied by a firm in the Ukrainian city of Kharkov.

On March 4, shortly before setting out on an official visit to Ukraine,
U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said she would press Ukrainian
leaders to halt the sale of the turbines. U.S. officials understood that
the Ukrainians would have to be compensated if the sale, described as worth
hundreds of millions of dollars, were scuttled. "To counteract these
losses," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported on March 5, "the U.S. has
offered Ukraine an agreement on nuclear cooperation if Kiev scraps the
deal, including aid with construction of two key reactors at Ukraine's
Khmelnitsky and Rovno plants."

Following talks with Albright on March 6, Ukrainian officials announced
that the turbine deal would indeed be dropped. Whether the building of
Ukraine's new nukes will now become a three-way enterprise, including the
U.S. as well as Ukraine and Russia, is not clear. But any claims by the
Clinton administration to be defending economic rationality in Eastern
Europe can now only be looked at askance. Any further comment on the
administration's attitude to the Ukrainian environment, meanwhile,
becomes superfluous.

The EnviroNews Service              | E-Mail:
A Project of the EnviroLink Network | Phone : (412) 683-6400
General Info:   | Fax   : (412) 683-8460

To unsubscribe, send an e-mail message from the account you are subscribed to: with the following as the ONLY line of the message: unsubscribe environews

EnviroLink is a member supported non-profit organization. For membership information, visit: or call 412-683-6400.

IF YOU WISH TO REPRINT ANYTHING WITHIN THESE ARTICLES, please send e-mail to: to request permission. All information contained within is Copyright (c) 1998 Environment News Service (ENS) unless noted otherwise.


Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 15:29:50 -0500 From: Dawn Amore <> Subject: EPR2 Conference Preregistration Deadline Extended

The Electronic Product Recovery and Recycling (EPR2) Conference date is fast approaching! It will be held on April 22 and 23, 1998, in Washington, D.C. A number of you requested more time to register and submit payments for the conference.

We have been able to extend the preregistration deadline (and rate of $210) until April 3, 1998. Sorry, but any registrations after April 3, 1998, will require the full $295 registration fee. Remember to reserve your hotel room at the special conference rate by calling the Sheraton City Centre at (202) 775-0800.

See you in Washington!!!

If you would like more information on the conference, please see our World Wide Web site at


Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 22:58:59 -0500 From: "Bill Sheehan" <> Subject: NRC Board Nominations April 3rd

Deadline for nominations for the National Recycling Coalition Board of Directors is next week. Nominations must be received (and not via fax) at NRC offices by Friday, April 3rd. Call 703-683-9025 x 406 for forms, or email


Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 11:12:19 -0600 From: SEMREX <> Subject: Recycling feed bags

Does anyone know of a market for used animal feed bags? They are kraft paper with a (and here's the tough part-) plastic lining, and sewn with cotton thread. There would probably be a small amount of feed dust -milk powder, sugar- in the bags. They would be baled, in truckload quantities. We have two truck-loads per week. Thanks!!

Susan Waughtal SEMREX Director


Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 18:40:23 +0100 From: (Wim A. de Bruyn) Subject: Zadorsky & Co, final


Evil prevails but good might triumph.

After I sent my warning about the "international congresses" Mr. Zadorsky announced on internet, he sent his "tough luck" interpretation of my experiences with a previous "congress" and demonstrated that he will rip off anyone who shows him any respect for the immanent values of life. Carle Gibbons got scared and began to threaten. He is basically a decent person. This kind of people are indeed the first ones to get fired once a lack of integrity of the business contacts of their company becomes apparent. I answered Carle Gibbons' proposal to try and improve our contacts with my offer to evaluate the practise I went to explain in Ukraine : consumers should be able to deduct the costs of ecological products from their taxable income. I also offered Eureng to be among the first companies to get involved in restructuring the economy by helping to introduce this accounting practise in the UK. and Ukraine. I repeated my offer to Lesya Novosad of Eureng. I did not receive an answer to any of my proposals. Eureng must be well connected in Ukraine considering all the Ukrainians who work with them, including Stan Induchny, commercial manager of Eureng, who I also met in Ukraine. It is therefore regrettable that they are not willing to help humanity to get into an optimum way of living, while helping the people from the East to get out of their economic crisis as well. Their lack of answer to my proposal is particularly regrettable considering the danger of a lack of integrity in Ukrainian business as explained in the separate mail : Chernobyl 'Scam of the Century' Adds Dangers.

The good news is that quite a few people got to know about the management of the costs of living. I received a mail from Moscow that they got my theory from Turkmenistan. Many people realise that when consumers can deduct the costs of ecological products from their taxable income, they will manage their costs of living to keep nature sound. They will change their way of living into one in harmony within nature. To keep nature sound and, more specifically, to keep the integrity of human nature, will therefore become the goal of development. The goal of development is the goal with which consumers spend their income. Many people then realise that the only goal with which consumers can spend their income in the current free market economy is : CONSUME! They therefore understand why the free market economy has led to the consumers' society with its loss of values, destruction of nature, "apartheid" in the economy and its violence and corruption and its lack of integrity. The tax deductibility of the costs of ecological products corrects an error in the free market economy. A correction is made before any other attempt is made to improve our way of living. Others, particularly from the East, agree, moreover, that the government cannot end the ecological crisis. The implied central management of the costs of living of all consumers will have more disastrous results for the environment and society than the central management of the costs of production has had for the economy and society.

With all these people we are considering how to promote and introduce the management of the costs of living. I trust that as a result of all this mail a group will be formed who will succeed to introduce this management practise into the reality of every day life. The sooner we succeed, the better it is, since mankind will have to live in harmony within nature, by managing their costs of living, to keep nature sound, to survive.

Anyone interested to support our endeavours and to join a group of people willing to subscribe a demand for funds from the European Community and other organisations, to open ZERO markets, are invited to write me. Information about ZERO markets and the management of the costs of living is presented at the ZERO web site. It can also be sent as mail, upon request.

With sincerity and its feelings,

Wim A. de Bruyn Founder ZERO, association of consumers keeping their integrity with their income 45 rue Alfred Giron B-1050 Brussels, Belgium Tel. : **32 (2) 648 56 95 Fax : **32 (2) 648 56 95, when computer is on e-mail : ZERO web site :


End of GreenYes Digest V98 #73 ******************************