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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.

Date: Saturday, 16 September 2023
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The first VVER-440 fuel produced by US-based Westinghouse at its Swedish facility has been loaded into one of the reactors at Ukraine’s Rivne NPP. It was not clear which of the units – 1 or 2 – received the fuel, which reportedly will initially be mixed with the existing fuel supplied by Russia’s TVEL. Ukraine’s target, however, is to end the use of Russian-supplied fuel as soon as possible.

Date: Wednesday, 13 September 2023
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Slovak Nuclear & Decommissioning Company (JAVYS - Jadrová a Vyradovacia Spolocnost) and US-based Westinghouse Electric Company have signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) “to create a space for cooperation in the field of nuclear energy and in the implementation of projects aimed at the development of small modular reactors (SMRS)”.

Date: Thursday, 20 July 2023
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Bulgarian Energy Minister Rumen Radev and Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cooperation in the field of energy during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Sofia. The two ministers noted that the MOU aims at broad development of energy cooperation “to support the economic and infrastructural development of the whole region”. The MOU provides for cooperation in nuclear energy, gas, green energy and energy transition including smart networks.

Date: Thursday, 13 July 2023
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US-based Westinghouse Electric Company has signed a contract with Ukrainian nuclear utility Energoatom to design, manufacture and deliver Long-Term Containment Cooling Systems (LCCSs) as part of the modernisation of units 1&2 at the Rivne NPP. The cooling systems will improve safety by ensuring stable heat removal and effective containment depressurisation in the case of an accident.

Date: Friday, 16 June 2023
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Agreement heralds significant move away from Russian supplies ČEZ chief executive officer Daniel Beneš (left) and Westinghouse chief executive officer and president Patrick Fragman at the signing of the contract. US -based Westinghouse Electric Company has signed a contract with Czech utility ČEZ for the supply of nuclear fuel for VVER-440 pressurised water reactor units (PWR) at the Dukovany nuclear power station.

Westinghouse said in a statement that fuel deliveries are expected to begin in 2024 while the contract is anticipated to be valid for seven years.

The contract will replace supplies by Russian nuclear fuel manufacturer Tvel, a subsidiary of state-owned nuclear group Rosatom.

ČEZ said in a separate statement that Dukovany has stored nuclear fuel to cover about three years of operation. The station is obliged to maintain these reserves even after signing the new fuel contract, the statement said.

Daniel Beneš, chief executive officer of ČEZ, said the signing of the new “western supplier” contract for Dukovany means “a further significant strengthening of energy security” for the company and the Czech Republic.

Date: Saturday, 01 April 2023
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Energoatom steps up efforts to reduce reliance on Russia Petro Kotin said work is under way to certify a fuel component facility in Ukraine. Courtesy Energoatom. Ukraine is preparing to begin local production of nuclear fuel for the needs of its reactor fleet in cooperation with US-based Westinghouse Electric Company, according to the head of state nuclear company Energoatom.

Petro Kotin said during a visit to a facility in Ukraine preparing to produce nuclear fuel components that Ukraine could have its own nuclear fuel production line as early as 2026.

Kotin said the fuel technology to be used will be provided by Westinghouse, which currently supplies fuel for most of Ukraine’s VVER-1000 pressurised water reactor units.

According to Kotin, work is under way to receive certification for Ukraine’s fuel component facility to be part of the supply chain of Westinghouse’s Vasteras nuclear fuel plant in Sweden by providing parts for fuel assembly manufacturing.

Production will include sub-components such as expansion shanks and cartridge heads for the final assembly of fuel elements in Sweden.

Date: Wednesday, 22 March 2023
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Companies aim to offer western-made alternative to existing Russian supplies The Czech Republic operates four VVER-440 plants at the Dukovany nuclear station. Courtesy CEZ. US-based Westinghouse Electric Company has formalised an agreement, first announced in September 2022, to expand cooperation with Spain’s nuclear fuel company Enusa on the manufacturing of nuclear fuel for Russia-made VVER-440 pressurised water reactor designs.

Westinghouse already manufactures VVER-1000 fuel at its facility in Västerås, Sweden, but has been looking to restart its production capabilities for the smaller VVER-440 units.

The company used to supply VVER-440 fuel for Finland’s two-unit Loviisa nuclear power station, but ceased production in 2009. In 2014, it began examining the option of restarting VVER-440 production to potentially supply customers which operate the technology in central and eastern Europe.

Nuclear fuel manufacturer Enusa has been part of a consortium with other European partners from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Finland, and Ukraine, which in 2018 developed a conceptual VVER-440 fuel design with Westinghouse.

The agreement, which entered into force on 1 December, establishes that, exclusively, Westinghouse and Enusa will collaborate in the manufacture of VVER-440 fuel for the countries that currently operate this type of reactor.

Date: Friday, 20 January 2023
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Even oil-rich companies of Middle East are eying reactors, as more nations announce plans for SMRs Russian troops occupied the Zaporizhzhia nuclear station, which was damaged by shelling. File photo courtesy IAEA. 2022 was a year of mega milestones for nuclear energy.

Countries around the world turned to nuclear as a reliable low-carbon energy source as they looked for ways to wean themselves off Russian imports and lower carbon emissions.

New plants began operating, deals for small modular reactors were signed and countries announced ambitious plans for new-build.

On the political front, US president Joe Biden signed into law new legislation that will help to finance struggling nuclear reactors and could save dozens from being shut down early. In Europe, the nuclear industry celebrated when members of the European parliament decided to “follow the science” and support legislation which includes nuclear in the bloc’s sustainable finance taxonomy for green investment.

Date: Tuesday, 10 January 2023
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Construction of first reactor to begin in 2026 On 2 November, the Polish prime-minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced a long-awaited decision on the nuclear technology provider for the country's first nuclear power station. Image courtesy Office of the Polish Prime-Minister. The Polish cabinet officially confirmed in a resolution yesterday the selection of US-based Westinghouse Electric Company for the construction of the country’s first nuclear power station near its Baltic Sea coastline.

Polish climate and environment minister Anna Moskwa told a press briefing that three Westinghouse-made AP1000 pressurised water reactor units will be deployed at the Lubiatowo-Kopalino site in the northern province of Pomerania (Pomorze).

The first unit is scheduled to be online in 2033 as set in Warsaw’s 2020 nuclear energy programme while the start of construction is earmarked for 2026.

“Poland has never been so close to building a nuclear power plant as it is today,” Ms Moskwa said and added that “the decision to confirm a strategic partnership with the US brings us closer to the implementation of this project.”

Date: Friday, 04 November 2022
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