Westinghouse signs VVER-440 fuel agreement with Ukraine

30 September 2020

Westinghouse Electric Company has signed a contract with Ukraine's Energoatom, for the supply of VVER-440 fuel for the Rovno nuclear power plant. They have also signed a Letter of Intent on further exploring localisation of fuel assembly component production in Ukraine. The signing of both documents was witnessed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Rovno nuclear power plant (Image: Energoatom)

Westinghouse VVER-1000 fuel is already in operation in six nuclear reactors in Ukraine. By providing fuel to additional units beyond VVER-1000 reactors, Westinghouse says it will supply more than half of Ukraine’s reactor units.

"With this major agreement, we extend further our commitment to Ukraine's energy security and focus on further improving the operational excellence of its nuclear fleet," Westinghouse President and CEO Patrick Fragman said in a statement today. "Westinghouse is looking forward to continuing to support Energoatom in other areas of expertise as a global strategic partner."

Westinghouse said this latest generation of VVER-440 fuel assemblies "offers superior fuel economics, substantially extended refuelling intervals, excellent performance and reliability meeting both high safety and quality standards".

Energoatom CEO Petro Kotin commented, "We are taking another step in our combined need for continuing to improve the performance of our plants and diversifying our supply. This is an important decision not only for Ukraine, but for all countries of the European continent with VVER-440 units."

According to today's statement, Atomenergomash, a subsidiary of Energoatom, is currently completing a qualification to manufacture VVER-1000 top and bottom nozzles for Westinghouse fuel.

Ukraine and the USA signed an intergovernmental agreement in 2000, according to which a project for the qualification of US-made nuclear fuel for Ukrainian plants began. Westinghouse began supplying fuel to Ukraine in 2005, when six pilot fuel assemblies manufactured by Westinghouse - the TVS-W type - were loaded into the reactor of South Ukraine unit 3. In 2010, another 42 Westinghouse fuel rods were loaded into the unit.

The six units using VVER-1000 reactor fuel assemblies manufactured by Westinghouse are South Ukraine 2 and 3, and Zaporozhe 1, 3, 4 and 5.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News