The International Uranium Enrichment Centre (IUEC), based at the Angarsk ElectroChemical Combine in Russia, hopes by November to carry out the fifth commercial delivery of enriched uranium product to manufacture nuclear fuel for Ukraine’s NPPs. IUEC Alexey director general Lebedev told Nuclear.Ru on the sidelines of the 41st Symposium of the World Nuclear Association (WNA) in London on 15 September: “We will have a slight shift in time due to difficulties which arose with the Ukrainian side, but we are sure that the contract will be fulfilled this year.”
Under the contract, Ukraine’s State Concern Nuclear Fuel supplies uranium oxide concentrate to IUEC which enriches it using Russian technology. IUEC then sells enriched uranium to the Fuel Company TVEL, which, in turn, makes fuel assemblies for Ukraine’s NPPs. “The delivery time of a EUP (enriched uranium product) batch of 60,000 SWU (equivalent to half the core of a VVER-1000 reactor) will possibly be moved closer to November when we receive uranium concentrate from Ukraine,” Lebedev said.
As to deliveries after 2017 (end date of the contract with IUEC), Lebedev said this issue will be discussed next year. However, he noted that “neither IUEC nor Ukraine see any factors which would prevent extension of this contract”. He added: “We have cooperated since 2012 and never have let each other down.”
Lebedev said IUEC continues negotiations with a number of countries which are interested in joining the company shareholders. “We are negotiate on all three continents, regularly meet a wide range of European countries as well as in Africa and Asia,” he said, noting that Rusatom International Network “actively assists in negotiating process”.
IUEC was established in 2007 to ensure deliveries of enrichment services to its shareholders - Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom (70%), national atomic company Kazatomprom (10%), Ukraine’s State Concern Nuclear Fuel (10%), and CJCS Armenian NPP (10%). “We can offer the remaining shares - 20% minus one share. In other words, 2-3 additional shareholders can join IUEC, and if there are more who wish [to join], we may issue additional shares,” Lebedev said.