During Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to France, following talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, four documents were signed on defence cooperation, restoration of critical infrastructure, and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. These included letters on the renewal of the Agreement between the Governments of France and Ukraine for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.

This document, which expired four years ago, was extended for another 20 years. The Agreement creates a legal basis for cooperation in the field of nuclear facilities maintenance. France provides comprehensive support to the energy system of Ukraine. The Agreement creates a legal basis for cooperation in the field of nuclear facilities maintenance.

France also provided comprehensive support to the energy system of Ukraine through a Grant Agreement on assistance in restoring and maintaining critical infrastructure. The document allocates grant funds from the French government worth €200m ($217m) including $60m for the support of the energy sector.

At the same time, Ukrainian nuclear utility Energoatom announced on both its “X” platform and on Linked-In that it had signed a co-operation agreement with EDF. The agreement was signed by Energoatom head Petro Kotin and Vakisasai Ramani, Senior Vice President of EDF for the Development of New International Nuclear Projects.

The document specifies a number of areas of cooperation, in particular:

  • study of EPR technology;
  • study of EDF’s Nuward small modular reactor (SMR) technology;
  • exchange of experience in NPP operation, safety support, reactor reliability and efficiency.

Energoatom said: “The parties will also exchange experience in the supply of nuclear fuel for VVER reactors in Eastern Europe, which will enable countries that operate this type of reactor to ensure independence from Russia.

During the signing of the Agreement, Petro Kotin emphasised that Energoatom continued to develop domestic nuclear generation, and cooperation with the leader of nuclear energy in Europe would be able to strengthen Energoatom and contribute to the implementation of ambitious plans.

“Ukraine, like France, has unique experience in the nuclear industry. Therefore, our active cooperation and joint efforts in increasing the role of nuclear energy on the European continent will contribute to the achievement of climate goals and ensuring the stable production of clean and safe electricity,” Kotin noted.

Responding to Kotin’s post, Vakisasai Ramany commented: “Thank you Energoatom and CEO Petro Kotin for this great opportunity to develop a long-term cooperation. We look forward to the upcoming discussions and to supporting Ukraine’s civil nuclear programme with our EPR and Nuward SMR fully European technologies.”