MOSCOW, July 11. /TASS/. Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom does not confirm receiving Kiev’s letter with a request to meet and discuss the resumption of a project to build joint Russian-Ukrainian facility to produce nuclear fuel, a company spokesperson has said.
"We have not received a letter with a request to meet for further discussions about the facility’s fate," the source said.
"At present, supplies from Rosatom account for 60-70% of fuel for Ukrainian nuclear power plants. The Russian-Ukrainian cooperation is being carried out strictly within the framework of the existing contracts. All sides fulfill their obligations," the spokesperson added.
On Tuesday, Ukraine’s Ekonomicheskaya Pravda newspaper published a letter to Rosatom by Ukrainian Energy Minister Igor Nasalik, which says that Ukraine is interested in resuming cooperation on nuclear energy with Russia.
Among the potential areas of interest, the minister mentions the resumption of the frozen project to build a nuclear fuel production facility in the Kirovograd Region.
In the letter, Nasalik also suggests a meeting in Brussels to discuss those issues.
However, later the minister refuted this information.
In 2010, the Ukrainian government has chosen Rosatom’s fuel subsidiary TVEL as a partner in a project to build a domestic facility producing nuclear fuel. A plot of land of about 6.8 hectares was allocated for the purpose in the Kirovograd region. The project’s budget stood at $450 million. A joint company, named "Plant for the production of nuclear fuel" was created to carry out the project, in which Ukrainian state-owned "Nuclear Fuel" concern owned a stake of 50% plus one share, and the rest was owned by TVEL.
In line with the project, the plant was to start production in 2015. However, the Kiev government froze the project that year for political reasons.
The TVEL senior vice president in charge of commerce and international business, Oleg Grigoriev, said in May 2018 that it would be feasible for Ukraine to have its own plant to produce fuel for NPPs. According to the official, the implementation of the project will increase Ukraine’s energy security and diversify its sources of nuclear fuel. Grigoriev also said the Russian company is engaged in a "constructive dialogue" with Ukraine’s Energoatom on the issue.