Ukrainian nuclear utility Energoatom and Canada’s Cameco have signed an agreement finalising implementation of the programme to export all of Ukraine's uranium production for processing in Canada to produce fuel for Ukraine’s NPPs. This came during a visit to Canada by Energoatom President Petro Kotin, who had signed the original contracts in London in March.

The “Agreement for weighing, sampling, storage, analysis & transportation of uranium oxide concentrate” (UOC) produced by Ukraine’s SE SkhidGZK was signed by Kotin and Cameco President & CEO Tim Gitzel in the presence of Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. It regulates physical delivery of UOC from Ukraine to Canada. It provides for the supply of the entire quantity of uranium mined by SkhidGZK to Canada and the further use of the uranium concentrate for the conversion and supply of natural uranium hexafluoride (UF6) for enrichment.

Kotin described it as “a landmark event for the Ukrainian nuclear industry”, which “guarantees its stability and, as a result, a stable supply of electricity to citizens”. He confirmed it enables the practical implementation of previously signed contracts between the companies.

Kotin subsequently visited a Cameco facility accompanied by Gitzel.

“It is essential for Energoatom to draw on the best practices of our Western partners for the development of nuclear industry in Ukraine. After all, this is a matter of our energy independence,” he said. He added that, due to the partnership with Cameco, Energoatom can plan the next steps in the production of nuclear fuel in Ukraine. “One of them will be the construction of a Ukrainian facility for the conversion of domestic uranium concentrate,” he said.

Shmyhal also had talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during which a number of other agreements were signed. Trudeau’s website noted that Energoatom had “signed a major supply contract in which Cameco will provide the necessary uranium to meet Ukraine’s nuclear fuel needs until 2035.” This “will help Ukraine keep the lights on, while creating and supporting good, middle-class jobs here in Canada.”

Image: The agreement was signed by Energoatom president Petro Kotin (left) and Cameco president and chief executive officer Tim Gitzel (courtesy of Energoatom)