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Ukrainian energy minister, Rosatom head discuss nuclear cooperation

January 31, 2014, 1:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
1 pages in this article

MOSCOW, January 31, 0:57 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s acting Energy and Coal Minister Eduard Stavitsky and Russia’s nuclear energy corporation Rosatom Head Sergei Kiriyenko met in Moscow on Thursday, January 30, to discuss cooperation between the two countries in the nuclear industry.

Kiriyenko and Stavitsky discussed the construction of units 3 and 4 at the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant and a nuclear fuel facility in Ukraine, as well as nuclear fuel supply to Ukrainian atopic power stations.

During the visit, the Ukrainian delegation will also meet with Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

The year 2013 was marked by the dynamic development of cooperation under a joint project to build a nuclear fuel plant in Ukraine using Russian technologies. The project had reached its investment phase and onsite preliminary operations were commenced. Design documentation was finalised and manufacturing of the equipment for phase one production was completed.

Russia’s nuclear fuel company TVEL fulfilled its obligations to finance the project in strict accordance with the schedule by transferring 42 million U.S. dollars to the joint venture - Nuclear Fuel Plant in Ukraine. The Ukrainian JV shareholder - Nuclear Fuel State Concern - was to invest as much by December 31, 2013.

In 2014, the main construction work should begin at the construction site in order to ensure plant commissioning in 2015. The construction of a fabrication plant in Ukraine would provide the only valid and cost effective tool for the diversification of fuel supplies for the Ukrainian nuclear power plants.

According to the feasibility study, the total cost of the project is about 462 million U.S. dollars. The shareholders will have to contribute about 120 million U.S. dollars in equal amounts, of which 20 million U.S. dollars were transferred in 2012. After the plant has been certified and licensed, it will meet the nuclear fuel needs of the Ukrainian nuclear power plants.

The agreement signed in October 2010 became the basic document for the two companies and a landmark for their further activities towards implementation of the project.

The document reaffirms TVEL’s determination to transfer the nuclear fuel production technology to Ukraine not later than 2020 and provide technological support to the plant operations, including introduction of cutting-edge technologies and the training of personnel.

TVEL also stated its readiness to supply all nuclear fuel components and parts that will be missing until localisation is completed, and to provide uranium enrichment services from Russia.

The agreement also allows the plant with the capacity of 400 tonnes of uranium a year to supply its products to third-party states in the future.

TVEL is the Russian producer of nuclear fuel. It is a member of a vertically integrated holding company that consolidates the assets of Russia's civilian segment of the nuclear industry. TVEL is one of the key world manufacturers of nuclear fuel (17 percent of the global market). The company integrates large Russian enterprises specialising in natural uranium mining, nuclear fuel production, supplies, scientific and engineering support to nuclear power plants in Russia, in the CIS and foreign countries. This is an advanced and dynamically developing company, which ranks among the 20 largest production associations of Russia.

Nuclear power occupies one of the most prominent places in the Ukrainian economy. Over recent years, having only 22.8 percent of the installed capacity, nuclear power plants during autumn and winter maximum loads generated about 53 percent of the country's electricity. Currently there are 15 operating power units at Ukrainian NPPs, including 13 units with VVER 1000, 2 units with VVER 440 new generation.

Russia remains the number one supplier of nuclear fuel to Ukrainian nuclear power plants and takes an active part in the project to build units 3 and 4 at the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant.

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