US-based Westinghouse Electric Company has signed a contract with Ukrainian nuclear utility Energoatom to design, manufacture and deliver Long-Term Containment Cooling Systems (LCCSs) as part of the modernisation of units 1&2 at the Rivne NPP. The cooling systems will improve safety by ensuring stable heat removal and effective containment depressurisation in the case of an accident.

This will be the first time Westinghouse delivers LCCSs to support Severe Accident Management at a Russian-designed VVER-440 reactor. Westinghouse says the LCCSs will be manufactured using its patented solution specifically designed for the global VVER-440 fleet. It will be delivered to Rivne next year.

“This contract is part of our commitment to helping Ukraine secure a reliable, safe energy future,” said Dan Sumner, President of Westinghouse Operating Plant Services. This major engineering contract strengthens a longstanding strategic partnership between Westinghouse and Energoatom that includes supplying all VVER nuclear fuel for the country’s operating reactor fleet and collaborating on the deployment of nine new AP1000 reactors in Ukraine.

Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB and its partners are also collaborating to secure VVER fuel supplies in Europe and Ukraine. Westinghouse Electric Sweden and 11 European partners will begin working together on the Accelerated Program for Implementation of Secure VVER Fuel Supply (APIS). The purpose of the project is to provide countries operating VVER-440s with an alternative to Russian-supplied fuel.

Westinghouse Sweden will work with utilities, fuel manufacturers and research organisations. Utilities include CEZ (Czech Republic), Energoatom (Ukraine), Fortum (Finland), PAKSI ATOM (Hungary), Slovenske Elektrarne (Slovakia). Fuel manufacturers include Westinghouse (Sweden) and Enusa (Spain). Fuel engineering and research organisations include JRC – Joint Research Centre, European Commission (Belgium), State Scientific & Technical Centre for Nuclear & Radiation Safety (Ukraine), UJV REZ (Czech Republic), Uppsala University (Sweden) and Vuje (Slovakia).

There are currently more than 30 reactors operating with VVER-440 and VVER-1000 fuel in the EU and in Ukraine. APIS is co-financed by the European Union, and is part of the EU's Horizon Europe program for research and innovation. The cooperation is expected to run for over three years.

Image: The Rivne nuclear power plant (courtesy of Energoatom)