MOSCOW, January 31, /ITAR-TASS/. Head of Russia’s state-run nuclear concern Rosatom Sergei Kiriyenko met on Friday with visiting Ukrainian acting Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Eduard Stavitsky to discuss Russian-Ukrainian cooperation in the area of nuclear power engineering.
Stavitsky informed Kiriyenko that Ukraine’s authorities had “completed the process of selecting a project for the completion of the construction of units 3 and 4 of the Khmelnitsky nuclear plant on the basis of Russian technologies and will soon send an official notification to Moscow.” The sides also confirmed their commitment to continue joint construction of a nuclear fuel plant in Ukraine. This plant will use Russian technologies to fabricate nuclear fuels for Ukrainian atomic plants.
The Ukrainian minister thanked the Russian side for timely and complete fulfillment of its liabilities under the project and said that his country’s state budget for 2014 had a provision for making a monetary contribution to the authorized capital of the joint venture.
The sides also agreed to look at additional possibilities of financing the plant construction project.
The construction of two units of the Khmelnitsky nuclear plant was suspended in 1990 after Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) declared a moratorium on the construction of new nuclear plants in Ukraine. As of now, these two units are 75 and 27 percent ready.
In October 2008, Russia’s Atomstroyexport won an international tender having offered to use VVER-1000/B-392 reactors at the Khmelnitsky plant’s units 3 and 4. A corresponding framework agreement between the Russian and Ukrainian governments was signed on June 9, 2010. Under the document, the Russian side undertook to finance the project, including design works, construction, commissioning, and payment for services and goods supplied from Russian to Ukraine. About 80 percent of the construction financing will be come from borrowings, the rest 20 percent will be paid by Ukraine’s Energoatom.
To finance the first stage of the project, Kiev plans to take a loan from Russia’s Sberbank.
Another large-scale Russian-Ukrainian project is the construction of a nuclear fuels plant in the settlement of Smolino in Ukraine’s Kirovograd region. Shareholders in the project are Russia’s fuel company TVEL (50 percent minus one share), and Ukraine’s state concern Nuclear Fuel (50 percent plus one share). The plant’s capacity will be 400 tonnes of uranium a year, or 800 TVS-A fuel rod arrays, which exceeds Ukraine’s demand, thus leaving it some potential to export ready products to third countries. The first stage of the plant is to be commissioned in 2015. The project will be completely localized by 2020, when its third stage is commissioned. The project cost estimate amounts to 25 million U.S. dollars.