Russia and Ukraine have signed a protocol of intent on cooperation between their respective nuclear power companies.
The protocol was signed in Kiev on 4 June by Andrey Derkach, director general of Ukratomprom and president of Energoatom, and Sergey Kiriyenko, head of Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom).
The nuclear energy agencies of the two countries will develop cooperation in providing scientific and technical support to the nuclear energy industry, increasing the safety and extending the service life of nuclear reactors, designing and constructing new nuclear power plants, developing nuclear fuel cycle enterprises, and seeking joint access to third-party markets.
Russia and Ukraine will also consider establishing joint ventures to mine and enrich uranium and fabricate nuclear fuel in both countries. Cooperation would include joint uranium production at Ukraine's Novokonstantinovsk deposit, which is expected to produce some 2500 tonnes annually by 2020.
Kiriyenko said that Russia was ready to invest in nuclear power plant construction in Ukraine with "a potential of exporting electricity to Europe." He said that the construction of units 3 and 4 at the Khmelnitski nuclear power plant would be a primary consideration.
A list of specific joint projects will be prepared by Ukratomprom and Rosatom by 1 July. A joint organization will be set up on a parity basis by the two countries to coordinate this work. The joint organization will be formed by Ukraine's Kharkov Research and Development Institute Energoproekt and Russia's Atomic and Energy Machine-Building (Atomenergomash).
A delegation from Ukraine's fuel and energy ministry and Ukratomprom is due to visit Angarsk in Siberia on 19-20 June to discuss the possibility of Ukraine's participation in the international uranium enrichment centre proposed by Russia. Kiriyenko said that a draft intergovernmental agreement on Ukraine's participation could be ready in two months. Russia has already signed a bilateral agreement with Kazakhstan to participate in the proposed new enrichment facility. Angarsk already hosts a centrifuge-based uranium enrichment plant capable of 2,500,000 separative work units (SWU) each year, about 10% of Russia's total enrichment capacity.
WNA's Nuclear Power in Russia information paper
WNA's Nuclear Power in Ukraine information paper
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