Nuclear fuel made by Westinghouse in the USA has been loaded into the South Ukraine nuclear power plant. The milestone, on 8 April, is part of the Ukraine nuclear fuel qualification programme, a ten-year effort supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to help diversify the Ukraine’s fuel sources for its nuclear power stations.

South Ukraine NPP

Credit: Energoatom

Westinghouse fuel has been loaded into South Ukraine NPP.

“The loading of such a significant volume of Western-fabricated nuclear assemblies into a Ukrainian nuclear power plant marks a significant milestone in the development of reliable and diverse international fuel supply efforts,” said assistant secretary for Nuclear Energy at the DOE Warren “Pete” Miller. “This milestone allows for further cooperation between the US and Ukraine in civil nuclear energy.”

Forty-two fuel test assemblies were recently loaded into South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant. Under the programme the US government is supporting the testing necessary for Westinghouse to provide nuclear fuel for Soviet-designed VVER-1000 reactors operating in Ukraine. The DOE has managed this project since its inception in 1998.

In addition to fuel fabrication, US cooperation with Ukraine has included the transfer of US technology to the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology to assist Ukraine in establishing a more competitive nuclear design and licensing process based on international practices. Today, under the US-Ukraine Strategic Partnership, a bilateral energy security working-group focuses on reform in Ukraine’s overall energy sector and a sub-group focuses on civil nuclear energy cooperation.

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