Holtec plans cooperation with Ukraine's Turboatom

09 September 2015

Holtec International is in talks with Turboatom on the manufacture of equipment for a central used fuel storage facility (CSFSF) the US company is contracted to build in Ukraine.

The country's nuclear power plant operator Energoatom said yesterday that Holtec and Turboatom had discussed the production of technology needed for Holtec's dry storage system during the International Economic Forum on Innovation and Investment held on 4 September in Kharkov where heavy equipment maker Turboatom is based.

"Holtec representatives noted that Turboatom has the infrastructure, capacity and resources for the production of equipment for the CSFSF project. Now the companies are working to identify the areas that may require additional improvements to enhance quality assurance and/or strengthen quality control," Energoatom said. They plan to sign a memorandum of understanding within the next four to six months that will define the scope and terms of their cooperation, it added.

Holtec estimates that the value of the services Turboatom could provide for the project over 10 years could reach about $200 million, according to Energoatom.

Energoatom did not specify the type of equipment Turboatom would provide for the CSFSF project, but it specializes in steam turbines for thermal and nuclear power plants. Established in 1934 and now 75.2% government-owned, Turboatom is among the world's leading turbine-building companies.

Holtec signed the contract it won in a tender to build the CSFSF in 2005. Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, in 2012 adopted a law on the siting, design and construction of the facility to store used fuel from Ukraine's Russian-built VVER nuclear power reactors.

On 26 January Energoatom and Holtec signed an amendment to the contract to build the CSFSF at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the supply of used nuclear fuel dry cask storage systems.

The CSFSF will receive used nuclear fuel from nine of the country's 15 reactors - seven VVER-1000s and two VVER-440s - located at Rivne, South Ukraine and Khmelnitsky. The Zaporozhe nuclear power plant operates its own on-site used fuel storage facility that was commissioned in 2001.

The amendment means that Energoatom is responsible for the civil design and construction of the facility, while Holtec is responsible for the design and supply of used nuclear fuel dry storage, transport and related equipment. The equipment will be delivered by the end of 2020, with the "key developmental stage" set as 2015-2017. During this period, the design and construction of the storage facility will be completed, Holtec's equipment and technology will be installed and the CSFSF will be commissioned. Holtec will supply 94 used nuclear fuel storage systems for the facility.

Having the CSFSF could not only save Ukraine the $200 million it spends each year on exporting its used fuel to Russia, but it would increase the country's independence and create jobs for its own citizens, Energoatom said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News