Ukraine’s nuclear utility Energoatom and Holtec International have signed a Cooperation Agreement aimed at deploying the first SMR-160 Pilot Project in Ukraine with the aim of achieving minimum controlled reactor power and connection to the grid by March 2029. Holtec’s SMR-160 advanced small modular reactor (SMR) is a pressurised light-water reactor, generating 160MWe (525MWt) using low-enriched uranium fuel, with flexibility to produce process heat for industrial applications and hydrogen production.

The Cooperation Agreement, which was signed at a virtual ceremony, further envisages plans for an expedited construction and commissioning of up to 20 additional SMR-160 plants in Ukraine and for establishing a manufacturing facility in the country to localise production of the equipment required.

The Agreement was signed by Energoatom President Petro Kotin in Kyiv and Holtec International President & CEO Dr Kris Singh in Camden, New Jersey in the presence of Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko, Vice President of Ukraine Operations for Holtec International Riaz Awan, and representatives from various Ukrainian organisations, and local news media.

A joint project office is being established to undertake the work required for licensing and deployment of Holtec’s SMR-160s throughout Ukraine, with a focus on former coal generation sites.

Galushchenko noted: “We plan a complete replacement of thermal generation. The best way to replace coal is with small modular reactors. SMRs are a powerful technology that would also allow us to decentralise the generation. Ukraine has significant human potential for the development of advanced nuclear technologies and will make maximum efforts, in particular in cooperation with American partners, to remove the Russian nuclear industry from the world market.”

Kotin said ensuring energy security requires advanced nuclear technologies. The Cooperation Agreement “will now allow us to deploy promising, safe, clean, reliable, and efficient small modular reactor technologies and establish Ukraine as a leading clean energy country in the World.” He added that it would lead to economic development, creation of jobs, establishment of modern manufacturing facilities, training facilities, R&D, “and thus help Ukraine emerge as the regional hub for Holtec’s nuclear reactor technology”.

Holtec’s Dr Kris Singh said: “We will stand shoulder to shoulder with you to build and commission up to 20 SMR-160 reactors in record time. We are committed to helping the Ukrainian nation rebuild its energy infrastructure.”

Image: Energoatom and Holtec have signed an agreement aimed at deploying the first SMR-160 Pilot Project in Ukraine (courtesy of Energoatom)