Can the Crimean NPP be reincarnated?
By Vestnik Kavkaza
Vladimir Putin initiated a draft on establishing the fifth gambling zone in Russia in Crimea. Casinos and gambling areas won’t be spread all over the peninsula; they will be focused in one place. However, both Moscow and Simferopol ask not to pay too much attention to this, as the gambling zone will be one of points of growth rather than the most important project in tourist Crimea. The speaker of the regional parliament Vladimir Konstantinov reiterated that a gambling zone is not the main problem of Crimea, as the water and electricity power issues haven’t been settled yet.
Vladimir Slobodyan, head of the Institute for Ecological Research, says that Crimea is a region with a deficit of water, energy and fuel: “In 23 years there were practically no investments in infrastructure, including hydrotechnology. Only the hydropower plants on the Dnepr were somehow kept.”
Slobodyan thinks that reincarnating the Crimean nuclear power plant could be an option for energy supply of Crimea. The construction of it was frozen in the 1980s: “Nuclear energy will be the best option from the point of view of ecology, because nuclear energy is the safest from the environmental point of view, if we exclude cases like Chernobyl and Fukushima. So first, it is environmentally safe, and secondly, it is the most autonomous choice. It does not require separate gas pipelines. It only requires an adequate energy infrastructure on the peninsula.”
Notwithstanding an option which will be chosen, Crimea has brought serious challenges to Russia: “It will be impossible to solve the problems in the country by simply filling the holes. We need a complex economic policy based on an interdisciplinary approach and regional economies. The current deficit of water in the North Caucasus is a problem of the Russian economy and development. Unfortunately, we do not see any complex solutions to these problems on behalf of the Russian government, but we very much hope that the challenges, including the geopolitical ones, that we are facing at the moment, will push the situation in the right direction.”
Speaking about providing fresh water to Crimes, Vladimir Kashin, the head of the State Duma committee for natural resources and ecology, expressed his view that as the North Caucasus region and the Krasnodar Territory have a deficit of water, for Crimea “the adequate collection of storm and snowmelt waters in 22 reservoirs which exist in Crimea is left.”