Russia and Ukraine have signed an intergovernmental agreement on the resumption of work on two partially built reactors at Ukraine's Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant.
The agreement was signed today in Kiev by Ukrainian minister of fuel and energy, Yuri Boyko, and Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the Russian state nuclear company Rosatom.
Under the agreement, Russia will provide financing for the amount required to design, construct and commission Khmelnitsky units 3 and 4, including for payments for services and goods supplied by Russia. Any components supplied from Ukraine for the project would be financed from the Ukrainian budget.
|The partially-completed Khmelnitsky unit 3 (Image: EnergoAtom)
According to a report by RIA Novosti, Rosatom estimates that the project to complete the two units will take five years and will cost some $5-6 billion.
Construction of Khmelnitsky 3 began in September 1985, while that of unit 4 started in June 1986. Work on the two units stopped in 1990 when they were 75% and 28% complete, respectively.
The Ukrainian government envisages finalizing the project in 2011 and approving the design for the new units in 2011. Construction of unit 3 should be completed in 2014 and the reactor should be commissioned in 2015. Unit 4 is expected to be completed in 2015 and commissioned the following years.
Russia's AtomStroyExport won a tender in 2008 to construct two AES-92 plants with V-392B reactors at Khmelnitsky, similar to the two VVERs already operating on the site.
Meanwhile, Rosatom announced that a new cooperation agreement with the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) had been signed in Moscow on 8 June.
The agreement was signed by Kiriyenko and CEA head Bernard Bigot. It covers bilateral cooperation in a number of fields, including nuclear energy development strategy and the nuclear fuel cycle, development of next generation reactors, future gas-cooled reactor systems, as well as radiation and nuclear safety.
The new agreement replaces earlier agreements in 1993 and 2000 and aims to expand cooperation to include canvassing public opinion, setting up earning systems and emergency management.
During a ceremony to mark the signing of the agreement, Boyko commented that the completion of Khmelnitsky units 3 and 4 would spark a nuclear renaissance in Ukraine. He said, 'I am confident that this step will be perceived by the peoples of both countries, as such, which will contribute to further integration and provides a high level of strategic partnership between the governments of both states.'
Kiriyenko called the agreement 'an important first step.' He said, 'This project will give us important experience that will further Russian and Ukrainian enterprises to cooperate in the construction of nuclear power plants in Ukraine, Russia and third countries.'
Ukraine generates almost half its electricity from its 15 operating nuclear reactors, all Russian-designed pressurised water reactors.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News