Friday, July 30, 2021
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Ukraine could introduce small modular reactors but special regulations are needed

Acting President of Ukraine’s nuclear energy company Energoatom Petro Kotin presented to the international community the prospects for introducing small modular reactor (SMR) technology in the country, during the online conference held as part of the Eurasia Green Energy and Clean Technology Forum, hosted by the US Department of Commerce.

During the construction of new nuclear power plant (NPP) units in Ukraine, the head of Energoatom noted that the Company will give priority to high-power PWR reactors but will also carefully consider small modular reactors, due to the growing need for more flexible operation and load following capacities of NPPs.

Mr Kotin informed that Ukrainian specialists are already studying SMR technologies, which are also quite promising given the almost zero carbon emissions, short construction time (up to three years), low capital cost and short return on investment, increased load-following capabilities as well as integration with renewables.

Recently, Energoatom has received a proposal from US company ARC to start cooperation on ARC-100 SMR.

“However, it should be remembered that the introduction of this innovative technology in Ukraine would require the creation of a special regulatory and production base, government program, as well as the efforts of Ukrainian nuclear workers and the industry-specific regulator to license newly built SMRs,” added Mr Kotin. “In addition, this technology requires significant funding (and, accordingly, the search for sources of investment), public consensus on its implementation and highly qualified personnel throughout the entire SMR lifetime.”

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