Back to search results

Latest agreement is for five reactors in Slovakia

The Bohunice nuclear power station in Slovakia has two Russia-supplied VVER plants. Courtesy Slovenske Elektrarne.

US-based Westinghouse has signed a long-term agreement with utility Slovenske Elektrarne to licence and supply VVER-440 fuel assemblies the Bohunice and Mochovce nuclear power plants in Slovakia.

The agreement supports Slovakia’s efforts to move away from Russia as its source of fuel for the five plants, two at Bohunice and three at Mochovce. All five units use Russia-supplied VVER technology. An additional unit, also a VVER plant, is close to completion at Mochovce.

Approximately 59% of the electricity produced in Slovakia is generated by its nuclear plants, putting it second behind France with about 62%.

“The cornerstone of the diversification strategy of Slovenske Elektrarne is to support any initiative and cooperation in order have a portfolio of at least two alternative nuclear fuel suppliers,” the company said in a statement.

It said the fuel for its VVER 440 reactors must be first licenced and its use would start about a year after that process.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, operators of VVER plants in Europe have been looking to diversify nuclear fuel supplies away from Tvel, the fuel wing of Moscow’s state-owned nuclear corporation Rosatom.

There are over 30 reactors of the VVER-440 and VVER-1000 design operating in the EU and in Ukraine.

Westinghouse already has VVER-1000 fuel supply deals with Finland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Ukraine, where operators have decided to work towards cutting their dependency on Russia.

In July, a consortium led by Westinghouse was chosen by the European Union to develop and deliver a “secure, fully European” nuclear fuel supply for VVER plants.

Date: Saturday, 26 August 2023
Original article: