Energoatom invites waste storage tender

3 September 2003

Ukraine's national nuclear energy generation company Energoatom has invited a tender for the design, construction and launch of a nuclear waste dry storage facility. The initial capacity of this storage facility should provide storage for 2500 VVER-1000 fuel assemblies and 1080 VVER-440 assemblies. The maximum annual intake will be 504 VVER-1000 assemblies and 216 VVER-440 assemblies. The assemblies would be retrievable. The tender will be held in two stages: preliminary qualification and final tender selection.

In April, Energoatom set up a tender committee for construction of a spent fuel storage facility for South Ukraine, Rovno and Khmelnitsky power plants. Spent fuel is currently removed to Russia but problems regularly arise with this arrangement because of Ukraine's inability to pay the fees.

Russia's Krasnoyarsk territory has threatened to refuse to accept any more spent nuclear fuel from Ukraine if it fails to pay $11.76 million now owed for spent nuclear fuel that was brought to the territory in 2002. Yuri Lebedev, head of Russia's TVEL company, said Ukraine is also dragging its feet over paying for current shipments of spent fuel. According to his forecast, the territory could refuse to accept spent fuel from Ukraine in September-October this year. "Then, the Russian president will be involved in the settling of this issue," he added.

In 2002, Krasnoyarsk territory accepted spent fuel from Ukraine at around $370 a kilogram, while Bulgaria charged about $660 a kilogram. In 2002, Ukraine sent six shipments of spent fuel to Krasnoyarsk territory worth a total of $61.5 million. Five shipments worth $51.3 million with spent fuel from VVER-1000 reactors were sent to the mining and chemical works in Krasnoyarsk and another shipment worth $10.2 million with spent fuel from VVER-440 reactors was sent to the Mayak plant.

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