Ukraine's cabinet of ministers has a "completely new attitude" towards nuclear power and supports the idea of building new reactors using technology "of Western design", Energoatom president Yuri Nedashkovskiy has said.
Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk formed a new government after protests that began in 2013 and culminated in the dismissal of President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Energy minister Eduard Stavytsky was among the ministers who lost their posts the same month. Nedashkovsiy himself has been appointed the head of Energoatom five times.
"Anyone who believes that just because Energoatom has made a plan and the energy ministry has approved it that it will then happen is profoundly mistaken ... World experience shows that only the consistent position of a country's leadership towards the development of nuclear energy can enable it to move forward," Nedashkovskiy said.
Nedashkovskiy spoke during a meeting held last week to mark the fifth anniversary of the Ukrainian Nuclear Forum Association. Energoatom, which operates all of Ukraine's 15 nuclear power units, published his comments on its website on 11 July.
Deputy minister of energy and coal, Vadim Ulida, told the same meeting that the development of nuclear power was a priority for the new government in the reform of Ukraine's fuel and energy sectors.
By 2030, the share of nuclear power in Ukraine's electricity mix will remain at 50% and thus the ministry's task is to ensure the stable development of the nuclear industry, Ulida said.
A new concept for the development of nuclear power is expected to be adopted before the end of this year and will include the technical and financial aspects of the construction of new power units, he said. The document envisages the construction of a facility to produce nuclear fuel in Ukraine, as well as the construction of a centralized repository for used nuclear fuel, he said.
In early June, Yatsenyuk said that Kiev will diversify the supplies of nuclear fuel by renewing its contract with Westinghouse. Ukraine buys nuclear fuel from Russia's TVEL and the Japan's Toshiba majority-owned US firm Westinghouse.
But later that month Ulida told local media the government was not saying that it is giving up Russian fuel. "The main question here is price," he said.
"We are also not trying to say that we will work exclusively with either Russia or Westinghouse. We will work with those [suppliers] who provide the best conditions for Ukraine to ensure reliability, operational safety and economic conditions," he said.
Ulida has also said the government was "reviving" projects to manufacture nuclear fuel in Ukraine, noting that the country has "its own raw materials and development procedures".
The minister said earlier this month that Ukraine aims to integrate with the European power grid and gas transportation system "to make the Ukrainian energy a part of the European energy market" by 2017.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News