Project “Nuclear History of Ukraine”

Background information: this project started in 2014 at Odessa Center for Nonproliferation in Odessa I.I.Mechnikov National University (Ukraine). At the moment the main contributor is the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM).

Project aim: to provide interested parties (academia as well as political decision makers) with a competent analysis on the key issues of the Ukrainian nuclear history which determined current political and social conjuncture of the nuclear related issues. Continuous discussion towards the pros and cons of the Ukrainian decision on its nuclear weapons status is a matter of constant interest, therefore it is vitally important to reveal intrinsic factors about its historical preconditions in order to present objective situation over this matter of principle.

Project objectives: filling in insufficiently explored and unknown parts of the Ukrainian nuclear history (which to a certain extent is connected with the current political debates within and around our state): to provide scholar approach towards the following dimensions of the Ukrainian nuclear history considering:

  1. The national dimension – professional evaluation of Ukraine’s role within the Soviet nuclear program and the Post-Soviet Era to avoid political speculations upon the non-nuclear choice of the State.
  2. The international dimension – comparative research analysis of the Ukrainian nuclear history with the relevant histories of the other states such as South African Republic or Brazil, which might be useful for the further global analysis of the nuclear nonproliferation processes in the wider prospective.

Project goals: to prepare a comprehensive and in-depth research study of the nuclear history of Ukraine started from the beginning of the 20th century (when the nuclear physic in the territory of modern Ukraine arose) up to the present day. It is mostly focused at the role of Ukraine in the framework of the Soviet nuclear program, and also after gaining the state independence, when Ukraine passed the disarmament way and integrated in the global NPT structures.

Research project structure:

Part 1: Nuclear Research in the Soviet Ukraine

  • The development of the nuclear physic in Ukraine at the beginning of the 20th century (1901 – 1924).
  • The creation of the Soviet nuclear program and the development of nuclear physics in Ukraine (1924-1938).
  • Nuclear research in Ukraine before the 2nd World War. Physics and Stalin policy of terror (1938-1941).
  • Nuclear physics in occupation and emigration (1941-1945).
  • The creation of the Soviet nuclear weapons. The end of Stalin epoch (1945 –1953).
  • The development of peaceful nuclear energy, Chernobyl catastrophe and the breakup of the USSR (1953 – 1991).

Part 2: Nuclear disarmament of Ukraine

  • Soviet nuclear heritage and Ukraine: history of deployment, arms, stationing, locations and decisions.
  • Nuclear disarmament of Ukraine: the process and problems.
  • The Budapest Memorandum as the security assurance for Ukraine.
  • The lessons of nuclear disarmament for Ukraine: theoretical and practical analysis.
  • The Case Studies of the Nuclear Disarmament: Comparison with Ukraine.

Part 3: Nuclear energy in the independent Ukraine

  • Nuclear Energy at the Independent Ukraine: Main Stages of Development, Current Status and Perspectives.
  • The Evolution of the Nuclear and Radiation Safety Regime in Ukraine.
  • Retrospective of Nuclear Safeguards, Security and Nonproliferation developments in Ukraine.

Experts currently engaged in the Project:

  1. Polina Sinovets, Director, Odessa Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Odessa National University.
  2. Sergiy Galaka, Professor, Institute of the International Relations, Kiev National University.
  3. Grygoriy Perepelytsa, Professor, Institute of the International Relations, Kiev National University.
  4. Valeriy Pyatov, Journalist, the author of the monograph “Nuclear Chronicles”.
  5. Iryna Maksymenko, Research Fellow, Odessa Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Odessa National University.
  6. Oleksandr Cheban, Research Fellow, Odessa Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Odessa National University.
  7. Denys Kuzmin, Project Manager, Odessa Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Odessa National University.
  8. Dmytro Chumak, Research Fellow, Odessa Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Odessa National University.
  9. Oleksandr Bayrak, Leading Librarian, National Gorky Library.
  10. Taras Kozulko, Head, Section on communication with public, State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine.