By the end of 2023, Ukrainian nuclear power plants will have the opportunity to completely switch to the fuel of the American company Westinghouse.
This was announced by the Minister of Energy of Ukraine German Galushchenko, who visited the plant of the American fuel production partners, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
“We have quite optimistic forecasts and confirmation that our cooperation with Westinghouse will give us the opportunity to implement this process (provision of American fuel – ed.) by the end of this year,” he emphasized.
The head of the Ministry of Energy noted that the Ukrainian specialists present at this plant “are doing a lot for the fastest possible production of corresponding fuel to replace the Russian one.” He also touched on the prospect of nuclear fuel production in Ukraine, and noted that “there are relevant agreements with Westinghouse on the construction of a nuclear fuel production plant in Ukraine.”
Galushchenko also focused on the issue of the entire Europe’s refusal of Russian nuclear fuel.
“Russia is quite significantly present in the fuel market in Europe, and we discussed in detail with the energy ministers of the EU and the USA during meetings that it is important to ensure the production of fuel in the necessary quantity as soon as possible to replace Russian fuel in the European market," he explained.
The minister emphasized that it is impossible to quickly find a replacement for nuclear fuel, unlike, for example, gas, because it is produced in a certain amount, and increasing volumes takes time, and in the fuel market for VVER-440 units, the Russians have an almost monopoly position in the market.
As Ukrainian Energy reported, at the beginning of March 2022, after the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine, Energoatom completely refused to purchase Russian nuclear fuel.
In June 2022, at the site, Westinghouse and Energoatom signed an agreement on the supply of nuclear fuel to all nuclear power plants of Ukraine with 15 power units (7 power units are currently loaded with this fuel) and the construction of nine AP1000® power units.
As part of the cooperation, Energoatom and Westinghouse have launched an internship program for Ukrainian nuclear scientists in the United States, within the framework of which more than 60 experts and graduates of nuclear specialties will study the AP1000® technology.