Nuclear material transport accord signed

22 October 2010

Russia, Ukraine and Slovakia have signed an intergovernmental agreement on the transportation of nuclear materials between Russia and Slovakia via Ukraine. The agreement enables the continued shipment of Russian fuel through Ukraine to Slovakia's power reactors.


The agreement was signed on 21 October in the Slovak capital of Bratislava. It was signed by Nikolai Spassky, deputy director general of Russian state nuclear energy company Rosatom; Olena Mikolaichuk, chairman of the Ukraine state nuclear regulatory committee; and, Martin Hren, Slovakia's secretary of state for economy and construction.


In a statement, Rosatom said: "This agreement creates the international legal framework for the transport of nuclear materials between Russia and the Slovak Republic through the territory of Ukraine." It added, "In particular, the legal basis for the continuation of an uninterrupted supply of nuclear fuel from Russian company TVEL for existing and new nuclear power units in the Slovak Republic."


"The document takes full account of international treaties and national legislation in the three states in the transport of nuclear materials, as well as relevant directives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," Rosatom noted. "The agreement is designed from a long-term perspective, taking into account the existing long-term contracts between Russian and Slovak companies."


In April, TVEL signed a contract with Slovakia's Slovenské Electrárne (SE) to supply fuel for units 3 and 4 of the Mochovce nuclear power plant, currently under construction. The contract covers the period from 2012 to 2017 and provides for the supply of fuel assemblies for the initial core loading of Mochovce 3 and 4, as well as five subsequent reloads for each unit. Units 3 and 4 are scheduled to be commissioned in 2012 and 2013, respectively.


TVEL noted, "Signing the contract can be seen as an extension of the continuous and mutually beneficial collaboration of the Russian and Slovak parties in providing the active power units with Russian fuel."


In November 2008, TVEL and SE signed a contract worth a reported €500 million ($632.7 million) covering fuel supplies for Slovakia's operating nuclear units - Mochovce units 1 and 2 and Bohunice units 3 and 4 - for the period from 2011 to 2015.


The Bohunice and Mochovce units covered in the contracts are all Soviet-designed VVER-440 pressurized water reactors, for which TVEL has supplied all the fuel since their commissioning. The contract currently in force for the supply of fuel for Mochovce units 1 and 2 and Bohunice units 3 and 4 was signed in December 2003 and covers supplies up to 2010.


Researched and written

by World Nuclear News