Westinghouse Electric Company and Ukrainian nuclear power utility Energoatom announced the signing of a major fuel and nuclear expansion agreement this week, including supplying all nuclear plants in the country with fuel and increasing the number of AP1000 Westinghouse-designed reactors planned for Ukraine from five to nine units.
The two companies also affirmed their intention to establish a Westinghouse Engineering Center in Ukraine to support the planned AP1000 reactor projects, as well as Energoatom’s operating fleet and future decommissioning program.
Petro Kotin, President of SE NNEGC Energoatom, and Patrick Fragman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Westinghouse, signed agreements at the Khmelnytskyi NPP (KhNPP) site where the first two AP1000 reactors will be constructed. Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko and Swedish Ambassador to Ukraine Tobias Thyberg witnessed the signing of the agreement and participated in the site tour.
Perhaps with the background of the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine or simply due the the business impact, the companies called the agreement "historic."
The contracts build off of existing agreements, Energoatom selected Westinghouse to fully supply nuclear fuel for its installed fleet "based on a strong partnership and shared commitment to energy security," the companies said in a statement. Indeed, the dependency of Ukraine and much of Europe on energy supplies, especially natural gas, from Russia, is a major part of the backstory between the invasion of Ukraine that began in late February.
The fuel will be supplied out of Westinghouse’s fabrication site in Västerås, Sweden, with continued localization of fuel assembly component production in Ukraine. Atomenergomash, a subdivision of Energoatom, is currently completing qualification to manufacture top and bottom nozzles for Westinghouse fuel.
During the visit, Westinghouse and Energoatom also confirmed their intent to implement the previously signed agreement to deliver AP1000 plant technology for new nuclear power plants in Ukraine and expanded the number of committed AP1000 plants from five to nine. The AP1000 plant is a proven Gen III+ reactor featuring unique fully passive safety systems, modularized standard design, and industry-leading operability performance and load following capability. The design and build of the AP1000 plants will leverage significant US-Ukraine industrial cooperation, featuring content from supply chains in both countries.
“Even during this challenging time, we continue to work actively with Westinghouse, our strategic partner. We will expand the areas and scope of cooperation and are confident that together, we will not only write a new chapter in the history of Ukraine's nuclear energy, but also make an important contribution to the energy independence of Europe,” said Kotin.
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