Ukrainian nuclear utility Energoatom and US Westinghouse Electric Company have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to co-operate on the development and deployment in Ukraine of the Westinghouse AP300 small modular reactor (SMR). The agreement, signed by Energoatom President Petro Kotin and Westinghouse CEO Patrick Fragman, establishes a joint working group to collaborate on contracting, licensing and the local supply chain. Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Galushchenko, who attended the signing ceremony, said SMR technology is very promising for Ukraine, especially in terms implementing its Energy Strategy of until 2050.

"Ukraine has every prospect of becoming one of the clean energy leaders and increasing nuclear generation capacity both through the construction of new high-capacity power units and through the installation of small modular reactors, the first of which may appear within the next 10 years", he noted, adding that an important component of the agreements is manufacturing localisation.

Westinghouse submitted its pre-application Regulatory Engagement Plan with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) the AP300 in May. Westinghouse claims it is the only SMR “truly based on an Nth-of-a-kind operating plant” and describes it as a “game-changer”. The 300 MWe single-loop pressurised water reactor is a scaled-down version of its AP1000.

Kotin said Energoatom is continuing to work on new projects of advanced nuclear technologies. “The company is doing its utmost to ensure that our state continues to move towards a carbon-free, clean future, an integral component of which is nuclear energy," he noted.

"From nuclear fuel to plant services to electricity generation, Westinghouse is honoured to be a trusted partner for Ukraine today and for decades to come", said Westinghouse CEO Fragman. Another agreement signed by the parties provides for the deepening of cooperation between Energoatom and Westinghouse in the construction of the first of nine planned AP1000 units. In particular, it is planned to supply the major reactor components to the Khmelnitsky NPP.

In January, Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers approved development of project documentation for the construction of two AP1000 reactors at Khmelnitsky. Galushchenko said at the time that the target date to complete construction and start-up of units was 2030-2032, depending on the impact of the ongoing military hostilities. The estimated cost of each unit at about $5bn. He said work could start on a technical and economic feasibility study.

Image courtesy of Energoatom

Date: Saturday, 16 September 2023
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