Ukrainian Secret Service Bust Cryptocurrency Mining Farm in Nuclear Plant

Samuel Haig

On Aug. 21, detectives from Ukraine’s secret service, the SBU, discovered an unauthorized mining farm that was being operated from the Yuzhoukrainska Nuclear Power Plant. The mining rigs were connected to the internet, posing a significant security risk to the facility.

Local news outlets report Nuclear Power Plant officials were using the site's energy to illegaly mine cryptocurrencies. Authorities reportedly seized last month a media converter, part of a network cable, and a media converter presumably to crack down on the operation.

Notably, cases of nuclear engineers trying to use these types of facilities to mine cryptocurrencies have been reported before, with one case occuring in Russia last year.

Reducing Power Prices for Industrial Consumers

Ukrainian cryptocurrency miners are expected to enjoy a reduction in electricity prices, following an announcement that the country’s government has agreed to change energy prices charged to industrial consumers during a meeting yesterday.

Andriy Gerus, the envoy to Ukraine’s cabinet of the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, announced the proposed revised pricing, describing talks between the members as “very constructive.”

According to Gerus, Ukraine’s Minister of Energy and Coal Mining, Ihor Nasalyk, agreed to reduce the prices offered to industrial consumers to 0.21 UAH (approximately $0.0083) per kilowatt-hour (KWH).

The revised pricing structure comes little over a month after the Ukrainian government overhauled Ukraine’s electricity pricing structure. The new scheme increased the price of electricity for all consumers to 3.25 UAH ($0.13) per KWH - up from 1.05 UAH ($0.042) for individual customers and 2 UAH ($0.08) for industrial consumers.