Ukraine aims to produce nuclear fuel by 2026, exports to follow

17 March 2023

Ukraine is intending to produce its own nuclear fuel within three years, with Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko saying that in the longer term the aim is to export to other countries.

Kotin, second right, and Halushchenko, centre, during the visit (Image: Ukraine's Ministry of Energy)

Halushchenko, speaking during a visit with Energoatom President Petro Kotin to the plant where nuclear fuel will be produced, said: "Ukraine is one of the first countries that diversified the supply of nuclear fuel, and this made it possible to abandon its purchase from Russia. Our joint task with our American partners is to produce the appropriate types of fuel as soon as possible in order to displace Russia from the nuclear fuel market."

He said he hoped that in the future Ukraine could become a supplier of nuclear fuel for countries including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Finland and Bulgaria.

Kotin said: "Two years ago, Energoatom took the course for its own production of nuclear fuel. Therefore, on the production line of the enterprise, the company's specialists will produce fuel components using Westinghouse technology." These components will be used for the production, at the Westinghouse plant in Sweden, of nuclear fuel used by Energoatom's nuclear power plants.

"It is planned that in three years we will start a full cycle of nuclear fuel production in Ukraine - 2026 is the date when we will be able to fully produce our Ukrainian fuel from components manufactured here. And the elements that we will not be able to produce, we will purchase from our partners," he added.

Energoatom and Westinghouse were already working together on diversifying the source of nuclear fuel for Ukraine's Russian-designed nuclear power plants before the war began, but the switch away from Russian-supplied fuel was accelerated once hostilities began.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News