Energoatom and Holtec sign agreement for SMR manufacturing facilities

17 April 2024

The agreement provides for the creation in Ukraine of manufacturing capabilities for components for small modular reactors, plus storage and transportation systems for used nuclear fuel.

(Image: Holtec)

The online signing of the agreement, by Energoatom's Acting Chairman Petro Kotin (pictured above) and Holtec International's President and CEO Chris Singh, took place in the presence of Ukraine's Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko.

The agreement is intended to push ahead the deployment of Holtec's small modular reactors (SMRs) in Ukraine "and to support unimpeded reactor operations through a successfully deployed used fuel storage facility".

Halushchenko said: "It is very important that we sign this document at such a turbulent time, demonstrating to the enemy our stability and determination to deepen the Ukrainian-American partnership and develop the future of Ukrainian energy using leading technologies."

Kotin said: "This agreement is important not only for Energoatom, but also for the entire energy industry of Ukraine and the national economy. The creation of nuclear energy production facilities in the country will contribute not only to the strengthening of the country's energy security ... this Master Agreement will lead to a modern manufacturing and training facility which will spur economic development, create well-paying jobs, and pave the way for Ukraine’s emergence as the regional hub for Holtec’s SMR-300 and used fuel technology."

Shawn Anderson, the US Embassy’s Department of Energy Office Director and Energy Attaché, said: "The signing of the Master Agreement marks a significant milestone as it paves the way for the establishment of a cutting-edge manufacturing facility aimed at localising the production of equipment for Holtec SMRs, spent nuclear fuel storage and transport systems, and other nuclear energy-related necessities in Ukraine. This collaborative effort between Energoatom and Holtec International is not only a critical step but also an inspiring one that promises to enhance Ukraine’s national and energy security, thus bolstering its economy."

Holtec has been developing its SMR unit since 2011 and the company has even longer-established links with Ukraine - in April 2023 an agreement between Energoatom and Holtec sought to pave the way for up to 20 of its SMR-160 units to be deployed in the country. Holtec says its SMR has undergone several design evolutions, the most recent of which is the incorporation of forced flow capability overlayed on gravity-driven flow in the plant’s primary system for the SMR-300, which is a pressurised water reactor producing around 300 MW of electrical power or 1050 MW of thermal power for process applications, and which Holtec says, remains “walk-away safe”.

Holtec and Energoatom announced in November that they were planning to build a plant in Ukraine for the production of containers, which are currently made in the USA, for storage of used nuclear fuel. This followed on from the commissioning in 2022 of the Holtec International-built Centralised Spent Fuel Storage Facility in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, contracts for which were signed for its construction in 2005.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News