The USA is to provide 42 nuclear fuel assemblies to the South Ukraine nuclear power plant, Department of Energy (DoE) deputy secretary Clay Sell has announced. The deal comes under the umbrella of the US-Ukraine Nuclear Fuel Qualification Project (UNFQP).
Westinghouse will manufacture the fuel assemblies, accounting for a quarter of the fuel needed to power unit 3 at the plant for up to four years. The company previously manufactured six lead test assemblies which were loaded into the core of unit 3 in 2005, together with Russian fuel, for a period of "pilot operation." South Ukraine 3 is a VVER-1000 pressurized water reactor.
The USA will be investing $14 million in this stage of the project. Ukraine has committed to procure approximately $42 million of low enriched uranium for the UNFQP, which will be used to manufacture the fuel assemblies and fund technical services. The US has invested $52 million since 2000 in the manufacture of fuel assemblies and implementation of training programs to advance the project, which is part of DoE’s International Nuclear Safety Program.
Speaking in Kiev, Sell said that projects such as UNFQP were advancing energy security through cooperation, encouraging the diversity of energy supplies and suppliers.
US Department of Energy
WNA’s Nuclear Power in Ukraine information paper