1000th Westinghouse fuel assembly for VVER-1000 delivered to Ukraine

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The 1000th RWFA fuel assembly for VVER-10000 fabricated by Westinghouse company (USA) will be delivered to South Ukraine NPP as part of the Reload Batch, as informed by the Swedish division of Westinghouse company, Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB (Vasteras, Kingdom of Sweden).

The 1000th RWFA fuel assembly for VVER-10000 fabricated by Westinghouse company (USA) will be delivered to South Ukraine NPP as part of the Reload Batch, as informed by the Swedish division of Westinghouse company, Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB (Vasteras, Kingdom of Sweden).

During his visit to Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB, First Vice-President – Technical Director of SE “NNEGC “Energoatom” Oleksandr Shavlakov mentioned, that shipment of the 1000th fuel assembly fabricated by Westinghouse for a Ukrainian NPP  is a milestone event in the longstanding cooperation between Energoatom and Westinghouse. “Nuclear power is playing the key role in Ukraine’s power sector providing more than half of all electricity produced in the country. The new Energy Strategy until 2035 adopted by the Government of Ukraine last year anchors the dominant role of nuclear power; provides for the long-term operation of the existing NPP power units; their power uprate and efficiency improvement; completion of Khmelnytskyi NPP power units and selection of reactor technologies for construction of new power units as a replacement of NPP capacitieso to be decommissioned starting 2030. Completion of these tasks is only possible and conditional on successful diversification of fresh nuclear fuel supply to Ukrainian NPPs, establishment of an efficient spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste management system, and introduction of state-of-the-art nuclear technologies. All this provides huge room for the current and future cooperation between Energoatom and Westinghouse”, Oleksandr Shavlakov emphasized.

Speaking at the celebration meeting on occasion of the 1000th fuel assembly shipped to Ukraine,  where the parties also discussed the prospects of future cooperation between Energoatom and Westinghouse, the First Vice-president – Technical Director also reminded of the Amendment to the Contract with Westinghouse that had been signed earlier this year in January to further expand the scope and the “geography” of fresh nuclear fuel supply to Ukrainian NPPs. “We now use Westinghouse fuel at 6 power units of Ukrainian NPPs, and starting 2021 it will be loaded at 7 out of the 13 Ukrainian VVER-1000 reactors. The initial sites of South Ukraine and Zaporizhzhya NPPs will be complemented by Rivne NPP. There are also plans to deploy production of components – top and bottom nozzles for Westinghouse fuel assemblies – at production facilities of our separated subdivision “Atomenergomash”, Energoatom Technical Director added.

Oleksandr Shavlakov is convinced that one of the promising directions for cooperation between our companies will be diversification of fresh fuel supply to VVER-440 reactors. “We invite all operators of VVER-440 reactors to cooperation on the way to improvements in the area of fresh fuel supply. The consultations on this subject held with Slovenske Elektrarne a.s. top management provided an initial insight into the problems peculiar to this area. And I am sure that together we will make it through, overcoming all the obstacles. Indeed, our people have proved to be capable of providing a decent response to any challenges, and of finding brilliant solutions”, Oleksandr Shavlakov mentioned. 

He stressed that corporatization of SE “NNEGC “Energoatom” initiated last year will open a new window of opportunities for the implementation of most daring and ambitious projects. “Today, Ukraine’s strategic goal is implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, and integration of Ukraine’s unified power system into the European ENTSO-E Grid, creating opportunities for electricity export and import. The high-level agenda includes reforming the electricity market, modernization of the electric power infrastructure, implementation of the Third Energy Package, completion of Khmelnytskyi NPP power units 3 and 4. All these goals are seamlessly embedded in one of the most promising projects in the Ukrainian power sector “Ukraine-European Union: Energy Bridge”, which is approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. The Project provides for expansion of the existing “Burshtyn Island” by means of connection of KhNPP unit 2 to it, and revitalization of the existing 750kV OTL “Khmelnytskyi NPP – Rzeszów (Poland)”. This project will emerge as the first step towards integration of the Ukrainian UPS into the European ENTSO-E Grid”, Energoatom Technical Director explained.

According to Oleksandr Shavlakov, the key unique feature of the “Ukraine-European Union: Energy Bridge” project is that the long-term contract for electricity export from Khmelnytskyi NPP unit 2 will serve as a financial instrument to raise funds for the completion of two new units (KhNPP 3 and 4). “In its turn, this will help to obtain an export loan to fund the supply of the nuclear island equipment, initial load nuclear fuel and certain types of special-purpose equipment and services. An essential component of this Project is activities on nominal power uprate and efficiency improvement of nuclear power units. Once implemented, these will compensate for the KhNPP unit 2 to be disconnected from the Ukrainian UPS for the period until Khmelnytskyi NPP units 3 and 4 are commissioned. Activities in this area were initiated by Energoatom and Westinghouse as far back as at the end of 2016, within a pilot project for South Ukraine unit 3”, Oleksandr Shavlakov added.  

During the visit of Energoatom delegation to the Kingdom of Sweden on November 13-14, at the invitation of the Swedish party, the parties also held a series of working meetings with the top management of the Swedish governmental institutions and power companies.  Specifically, Energoatom representatives met with Ulla Sandborgh, Director General of Svenska kraftnät (Swedish power grid operator) and with representatives of the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.

During their visit to the nuclear fuel fabrication facility in Vasteras, Energoatom delegation was joined by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Kingdom of Sweden Ihor Sahach. The closing event of the agenda for the Ukrainian delegation was a celebration dinner hosted by the Governor of Västmanland County (to which the town of Vasteras belongs) Mrs. Minoo Aktarzand.