Following successful final negotiations concluded in Brussels over the weekend, the Westinghouse Electric Company and the Ukrainian state-owned nuclear power generating company NECC Energoatom have signed a contract extension on nuclear fuel supply until 2025.
This is good news for consumers and good news for the security of energy supply.
The contract extends the current agreement to supply nuclear fuel from Sweden to Ukraine and expands the long-standing cooperation between the two companies.
Speaking to the press after the contract signing ceremony in Brussels, Yurii Nedashkovskyi, President of Energoatom, said that Energoatom was the only company in the world operating VVER 1000 reactors that had successfully introduced different sources of nuclear fuel supply.
The VVER type of reactor is a kind of pressurised water reactor originally developed in the Soviet Union, (now Russia). They are in use by several EU Member States including Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, and Slovakia, in addition to Ukraine and Russia. Mr Nedashkovskyi said, “Our cooperation with Westinghouse has been instrumental to the achievement of this goal”.
Westinghouse has been a supplier of nuclear fuel to Ukraine since 2005, when the first lead test assemblies were delivered to the first reactor in South Ukraine.
“This contract extension solidifies Westinghouse’s role as a strategic partner for Energoatom and demonstrates our ability to support Ukraine with their energy diversification. The fact that we, under the terms of the contract, will source some of the fuel components from a component manufacturer in Ukraine further strengthen the relationship between Westinghouse and Ukraine,” said José Emeterio Gutiérrez, Westinghouse president and Chief Executive Officer.
“We are pleased that Energoatom is continuing to trust Westinghouse as a reliable supplier of nuclear fuel to VVER reactors,” said Aziz Dag, Westinghouse Vice-President and Managing Director, Northern Europe.
The fuel supplied will consist of components both from Westinghouse Fuel Manufacturing in Columbia in the United States and from a component manufacturer in Ukraine. The final manufacturing and assembly will be done by the Westinghouse fuel fabrication facility in Västerås, Sweden, where parts of the production lines are solely dedicated to VVER 1000 fuel. Deliveries against the contract will start at the beginning of 2021.
The nuclear fuel from Westinghouse has over the years come to play an important role in Ukraine’s strategic goal to achieve energy independence. Energoatom is a major supplier of electricity in Ukraine and provides more than 60% of the total demand for power in the market.