US-based Westinghouse and Ukrainian nuclear utility Energoatom have begun work to complete unit 3 at the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant using the AP1000 reactor technology, Energoatom said on 9 November.
Westinghouse engineers are at the site considering how to complete the project. "The purpose of the visit is a detailed inspection of the third power unit of the plant to determine the possibilities and measures for its further completion."
The engineering mission was led by Elias Gideon, Westinghouse Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations, and Joel Iker, Vice President of New Nuclear Power Plant Construction. “We have done a great job of preparing the documentation, now two teams of our engineers from the US and Europe have arrived, who will work closely with Energoatom, study the site and exchange the necessary information,” said Gideon. Westinghouse inspected the site on 7 November and will "conduct a gap analysis" that will suggest ways to successfully implement the construction.
Khmelnitsky 3 was originally supposed to operate a VVER-1000 reactor, but its construction was stopped in 1990 at about 75% readiness. The foundation and most of the containment have been built, as have the heavy equipment stored on site. Energoatom and Westinghouse plan to use the components and modules of the power unit with the AP1000 reactor system intended for the cancelled VC Summer NPP project in the USA and stored there in the warehouse.
On 8 November, at a meeting of representatives of the two companies, their preliminary conclusions and an assessment of the site were made public. "Today we are starting practical work on the construction of new nuclear facilities," said the head of Energoatom Petr Kotin.
He noted that the procedures under the Espoo Convention have already been completed, there is a positive conclusion from the Ministry of Ecology, and "the draft law on the completion of the third and fourth power units of the Khmelnitsky NPPs has been submitted to the government, and we expect its approval and submission to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in the near future."
"In parallel, we are working with financial institutions to finance the project, in particular, with the American EXIM Bank. We hope to sign a number of agreements in the near future," Gideon added.
Three months ago, Energoatom and the US Westinghouse signed a memorandum on the completion of the fourth power unit of the Khmelnitsky NPP using AP1000 technology followed by four new power units at the sites of Ukrainian NPPs.
Photo: Engineers visted the Khmelnitsky site in November (Photo credit: Energoatom)