: Ukraine's Zaporizhia nuclear plant to switch to U.S. fuel late in June

11:19 Jun. 15, 2016

Ukraine's Zaporizhia nuclear plant to switch to U.S. fuel late in June

Ukraine's Zaporizhia nuclear plant (UNIAN Photo)

Ukraine intends to buy one-third of nuclear fuel for its NPPs from Westinghouse in 2016 as part of measures aimed at diversifying sources of nuclear fuel supplies  

National Nuclear Energy Generating Company Energoatom, the operator of all existing nuclear power plants in Ukraine, will load the first batch of U.S.-produced nuclear fuel at power unit No. 5 of Zaporizhia nuclear power plant (NPP) in the second half of June 2016, according to the press service of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU).

"Taking into account positive results of state nuclear and radiation safety examination of the use of nuclear fuel manufactured by Westinghouse company, the SNRIU and Energoatom have authorized the loading of the first batch of that fuel at power unit No. 5 at Zaporizhia NPP.The loading will take place tentatively in the second half of June 2016," the press service said.

SNRIU head Serhiy Bozhko emphasized the importance of diversification of nuclear fuel supplies for the needs of Ukraine's NPPs, adding that such policy is in line with the European energy security strategy.

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"Overall diversification of nuclear fuel sources is a priority for all companies, operators of NPPs ... It is fully consistent with the European energy security strategy adopted in 2014," Bozhko said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukraine intends to buy one-third of nuclear fuel for its NPPs from Westinghouse in 2016 as part of measures aimed at diversifying sources of nuclear fuel supplies.

In 2015, almost all the fuel purchased was originating from Russia. In March last year, Yuzhnoukrainsk NPP successfully completed the loading of upgraded TVS-WR fuel manufactured by Westinghouse at its power unit No. 3. 

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In April, the unit was connected to the country's power grid. Earlier, Westinghouse President and CEO Danny Roderick said his company was ready to put its fuel into all Ukrainian NPPs. According to the Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Ministry, Ukraine intends to start using fuel from Westinghouse in three of its 15 nuclear power units this year.

In February 2016, Energoatom bought the first batch of U.S.-produced nuclear fuel for Zaporizhia NPP. In 2018, Energoatom wants to completely replace Russian-produced nuclear fuel in the core zone of one of the reactors with fuel supplied by Westinghouse.

UNIAN's memo. Energoatom is Ukraine's largest electricity producer, accounting for about 50% of the country's overall power output. Energoatom is responsible for the safe operation of all nuclear power plants in the country. Ukraine ranks seventh in the world in terms of the installed capacity of its nuclear power generating units. Energoatom operates four nuclear power plants in Ukraine with 15 power generating units, all with VVER-type reactors.

Reporting by UNIAN

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