On Tuesday (12 September) US Westinghouse Electric Company announced that it has delivered its first reload batch of VVER-440 fuel assemblies for the Rivne Nuclear Power Plant, owned and operated by Ukrainian state-owned Energoatom.
“The greatness of this day is the end of the Russian monopoly in this segment of the nuclear fuel market. This will pave the way for not only Ukraine, but the whole region, to achieve true nuclear energy independence,” said Ukraine’s Energy Minister German Galushchenko.
“The fact that we were able to do this so quickly is a great success and a significant basis for our continued cooperation with Westinghouse, which is just expanding. This is a big day for the Ukrainian energy industry, as well as for our cooperation with the U.S. and Sweden, where the production factory is located,” Minister Galushchenko said.
At present, Energoatom is the only power generating company in the world operating Soviet-designed reactors which has been able to implement a nuclear fuel diversification project for VVER-1000 reactors, Energoatom’s CEO Petro Kotin highlighted. “The transfer of Swedish-manufactured Westinghouse fuel to industrial operation on VVER-440 reactor units is an unprecedented event. It proves that this fuel could be used by other countries with nuclear power plants using similar technologies. Ukraine is an example and a model for other countries on how to end the dependence on Russian nuclear fuel,” he added.
“In this challenging environment, our teams are fully mobilised to ensure fuel diversification and supply of safe and highly performing fuel to our customers. We are building on our long-standing and strong partnership with Energoatom and Ukraine and will continue to provide vital energy security to Ukraine,” said Patrick Fragman, President and CEO of Westinghouse. “This first delivery is a major achievement, and we are proud to deliver a fully licensed and tested product in record time, after a record-breaking development and manufacturing process set-up in our Swedish factory.”