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Ukraine may use Western reactors at two nuclear power plants

July 11, 2014, 6:04 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, July 11/ /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian authorities are considering building additional generating units at three nuclear power plants using Western reactors at two of them, Energoatom President Yuri Nedashkovsky said.

He said the most probable sites would be the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant, the South Ukrainian NPP and the Zaporozhye NPP. “The latter two are particularly good because we can organise an international tender there and start building Western-type nuclear units,” Nedashkovsky said, adding that these power plants had “the shortest access by river and sea for the delivery of equipment which cannot be transported by road or railway”.

Speaking of the Khmelnitsky NPP, the construction of which is to be finished in cooperation with Russia, Nedashkovsky said “we have travelled a long way from approving government decisions to signing an inter-governmental agreement which is not working, unfortunately”.

Russia’s nuclear energy corporation Rosatom has reaffirmed its readiness to continue talks on the construction of Ukraine’s Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant if it shows such interest.

“There has been no progress on the matter ... But we intend to comply with the inter-governmental agreement we signed. If the Ukrainian government wishes to continue relations in this field, we are ready to do so,” Rosatom Deputy Director for Development and International Business Projects Kirill Komarov said earlier.

In his opinion, the main problem associated with the project is funding. “Russia has assumed the obligation to find a source of funding but it did not undertake to finance everything on its own. But we are ready to fulfill all of our obligations,” Komarov said.

In February 2011, then President Viktor Yanukovich signed the law that ratified the inter-governmental agreement with Russia on the construction of two units at the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant.

Under the agreement, which was inked by the sides on June 9, 2010, Russia and Ukraine pledged to cooperate in the designing, construction and commissioning of power units No. 3 and 4 at the Khmelnitsky NPP using water-cooled water-moderated (VVER-1000) reactors. The capacity of each unit is 1,000 megawatts.

The power units’ safety indicators are to be based on the IAEA standards.

According to preliminary estimates made by Ukrainian specialists, the construction of the two power units at the Khmelnitsky NPP will cost five to six billion U.S. dollars.

The Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant is located in the satellite town of Netishin, Khmelnitsky region, in the centre of Western Ukraine on the border the Khmelnitsky, Rovno and Ternopol regions.

The Khmelnitsky NPP was designed as a four-power unit plant. Construction started in 1981. In late 1987, the first power unit was commissioned. The construction of the second power unit began in 1983. It was expected to be connected to the grid by the end of 1991. When the moratorium on the construction of new nuclear power plants was declared, the main production components had already been put in place and the personnel had been trained.

The construction of power unit No. 2 was resumed in 1993. On August 8, 2004, the power unit equipped with the VVER-1000 reactor was connected to Ukraine's unified energy system. In September 2005, unit No. 2 was put into commercial operation.

With the launch of the second power unit, annual electricity generation has exceeded 15 billion kilowatt-hours.

Priority activities of the Khmelnitsky NPP include the completion of unit 3 and 4. Their construction started in Soviet times, but because of the moratorium the work was suspended.

The Ukrainian National Power Generating Company, Energoatom, drafted a detailed comprehensive programme of preparatory activities related to the inspection of structures and anti-corrosion work.

The international tender for units No. 3 and No. 4 was won in October 2008 by Russia’s Atomstroiexport.

On the Ukrainian side, the agreement was drafted by Atomproyektengineering, which is part of the Energoatom company that operates four nuclear power plants in Ukraine: Zaporozhye, South Ukrainian, Rovno, and Khmelnitsky HPPs.

It was initially planned to begin active construction of the two new units in 2011 and complete it in 2015-2016.

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