The amount of Russian nuclear fuel exported to Ukraine in 2016 fell by 36.7% compared with 2015, while Ukraine’s imports of Westinghouse-made fuel increased from 5% to 29.5% over the same period, Russia’s Tass news agency reported on 24 February.
Quoting official statistics from the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, Tass said Ukraine bought $386m worth of Russian fuel from state-owned manufacturer Tvel in 2016, while purchases from Westinghouse were valued at $162m. Ukraine spent about 15% less on nuclear fuel imports in 2016 compared with 2015.
Ukraine has 15 Soviet-made VVER-type nuclear units in commercial operation. Two of them, South Ukraine-3 and Zaporozhye-5, are operating using Westinghouse fuel. Ukrainian state nuclear operator Energoatom said last year it expected to start using Westinghouse fuel for units 1, 3, and 4 at Zaporozhye by the end of 2017. Westinghouse manufactures VVER fuel assemblies at its production facility in Sweden. Energoatom has said it is looking for ways to diversify its sources of nuclear fuel supply.