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KIEV, February 5. /TASS/. The first batch of 42 fuel assemblies from the US-based Westinghouse has arrived for Ukrainian nuclear power plants this year, Energy and Coal Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn said on Friday.
"One delivery has already been made this year," Demchyshyn said at a meeting of the Ukrainian parliament’s committee for the fuel and energy sector.
Overall, five such fuel deliveries are scheduled for the Ukrainian NPPs this year, the minister said.
"Five out of thirteen deliveries will be made by Westinghouse [the other deliveries will be carried out by Russia]. This is far from [energy] independence but gives a possibility to hold talks with confidence on the terms and the price of deliveries," the minister said.
The Ukrainian energy and coal minister said earlier that in 2016 Ukraine would import "40% of nuclear fuel from Europe," meaning that the Westinghouse plant producing fuel assemblies for Ukraine was based in Sweden.
Ukraine’s nuclear power plant operator Energoatom and the US-based Westinghouse have been cooperating since 2000 under the project of introducing US nuclear fuel at Ukrainian NPPs.
In 2014, Ukraine extended its contract with Westinghouse to 2020.
Starting from 2016, uranium for Westinghouse’s fuel assemblies is enriched by France’s Areva under a contract signed by the companies earlier.
Westinghouse’s fuel is currently used in a pilot regime only at the third power unit of the South Ukraine NPP (in a mixed cycle with Russian fuel) while the other 14 power units of the Ukrainian NPPs are loaded with the fuel supplied by Russia’s TVEL.