Westinghouse, Energoatom Sign AP-1000 Contract

U.S. nuclear power giant Westinghouse Electric Company said Monday that it had signed a contract with Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear utility Energoatom for procurement of “long-lead items for [Ukraine’s] first Westinghouse AP1000” reactor.

Energoatom signing ceremonyThe reactor is to be built at the Khmelnytskyi Nuclear Power Plant with the agreement signed this week following a previous memorandum of understanding that called for two new units at Khmelnitsky, one at Rovno NPP, one at the South Ukraine power plant and one at Zaporozhye. And additional two units are also planned for a new location at Orbita in central Ukraine.

Petro Kotin, Acting President of NNEGC Energoatom, said the agreement “opens a new stage in the development of Ukraine's nuclear energy sector,” which includes the goal of increasing its energy independence and contributing to Europe’s climate change environmental goals.

In August it was announced that Energoatom had selected Westinghouse AP1000 technology for its long-term goals to develop new nuclear power plants in Ukraine. “The AP1000 plant is a proven Gen III+ reactor. It has unique fully passive safety systems, modularized standard design, high operability performance and load following capability. The AP1000 projects will provide Energoatom and Ukraine with substantial economic and localization benefits through the construction and operating life of each reactor.

Kotin also said that the Westinghouse AP-1000 model had both cost and scheduling benefits, noting, according to Nuclear Engineering International, that this model would cost $5 billion to build and construction would take five years. Previous AP-1000 projects in the United States and elsewhere have run into considerable delays and cost overruns.

Ukraine currently has 15 nuclear reactors, all of them Russian built, 13 of them VVER-1000 reactors and the others VVER-440 models. There are also two unfinished reactors of Russian origins, one (Khmelnitsky Unit 3) 75 percent completed and one (Khmelnitsky Unit 4) 28 percent complete. It was not announced how much, if at all, the AP-1000 project would make use of the unfinished units, but previous discussions suggested Westinghouse would use the foundation of unit 4 as a starting point for its project.

The signing ceremony at the Khmelnitsky NPP was attended by Ukraine Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko, and United States Charge d’affaires to Ukraine, Kristina Kvien.

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