Ukraine has agreed on the increase in supplies of nuclear fuel with Westinghouse and building a nuclear fuel plant in Ukraine in the future to avoid dependence on Russia, Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Ihor Nasalyk has said.
“We agreed to diversify supplies for almost half of nuclear reactors and to build a nuclear fuel plant on the territory of Ukraine”, he said.
The minister said that the agreements were reached during his recent trip to the United States.
Nasalyk recalled that at present Russia supplied almost 95% of nuclear fuel to Ukrainian nuclear power plants (NPPs).
The minister specified that Westinghouse was ready to discuss building of the nuclear plant in Ukraine.
“On August 18, I will fly to Kazakhstan where I will discuss, among other issues, the completion of the nuclear fuel plant in Ukraine. We have two sources. When we have two, it is better to work”, he said.
In order to diversify sources of nuclear fuel supply for the country’s NPPs, Energoatom with Westinghouse in 2000 launched the project for the qualification of this company’s fuel. In March 2008 Energoatom and Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB (Sweden) signed a commercial contract to ship fresh fuel to three of six reactors of Ukrainian NPPs in 2011-2015. In April 2014, the sides prolonged the contract until 2020.
At present, the Yuzhnoukrainsk NPP’s reactor three and Zaporizhia NPP’s reactor five are the only reactors that run on Westinghouse fuel. A plan to broaden the use of upgraded Westinghouse nuclear fuel assemblies involves their use at reactor two of Yuzhnoukrainsk NPP in December.
Energoatom operates all four active NPPs in Ukraine. It runs 15 power units equipped with pressurized water reactors with a total installed capacity of 13.83 gigawatts. (Interfax/Business World Magazine)