Ukraine plans four new units for Khmelnitsky NPP

31 January 2024

Ukraine’s Minister of Energy Herman Halushchenko has revealed plans to build four new units at the Khmelnitsky NPP with construction expected to start later this year. These include two Russian designed VVER-1000 units to be built using equipment imported from the cancelled Belene project in Bulgaria. The other two will be Westinghouse-supplied AP-1000 units.

Khmelnitsky currently operates two VVER-1000 units (1&2). “With the third and fourth units we want to compensate for Zaporizhia, and now we are in talks with our Bulgarian partners on the two reactors we want to take,” said Halushchenko. “If we received the reactor vessels today, I think it would take two and a half years and we would have a third reactor operating.” He added that new legislation would be needed for construction of the new plants.

The six-unit Zaporizhia NPP was taken over by Russia shortly after the start of its special military operation in Ukraine and has now been integrated into the Russian nuclear system although all the units are shutdown. Ukraine currently has three operating NPPs with nine reactors. These are located in Khmelnitsky (two units), Rivne (four units), and South Ukraine (three units). These supply around 55% of Ukraine’s electricity.

Khmelnitsky's first unit began operation in 1987, but work on three others was frozen in 1990. Work on unit 2 restarted and it was connected to the grid in 2004 but units 3 and 4 remain uncompleted. In December 2023, Ukrainian nuclear utility Energoatom and Westinghouse signed an agreement on the purchase of equipment for Khmelnitsky unit 5 with plans also to construct an AP1000 as unit 6.

Image: Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant (courtesy of Energoatom)

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