Westinghouse Electric Company, a subsidiary of Brookfield Business Partners (NYSE: BBU), and Energoatom, the state-owned nuclear utility for Ukraine, signed a memorandum of understanding to develop and deploy the AP300 small modular reactor (SMR).
Announced on Tuesday, the agreement is a step in Ukraine’s pursuit of a carbon neutral energy sector by 2050, with aims towards development and modernization of safe nuclear generation based on the latest technologies. The agreement also designates a collaborative group to work on contracting, licensing and local supply chain issues.
German Galushchenko, Ukraine’s Minister of Energy, highlighted the significant promise of small modular reactor technology for Ukraine, particularly in its alignment with the country’s national Energy Strategy up to 2050.
“Ukraine has every prospect of becoming one of the leaders in clean energy and increasing nuclear generation capacity both through the construction of new large power units and deployment of small modular reactors with first units expected within the next ten years,” said Galushchenko.
He also noted that localization of manufacturing is one of the important components of these agreements, as Ukraine boasts some of the most experienced nuclear experts in the world.
In May, Westinghouse introduced the AP300 small modular reactor, which is a 300-MWe single-loop pressurized water reactor. It’s noteworthy because it’s the only SMR that builds upon the established and licensed AP1000 technology, which is a well-proven design.
Westinghouse has set its sights on achieving design certification for the AP300 SMR by 2027, with construction scheduled to commence by 2030 and the first operational unit expected in the early 2030s.
“Energoatom keeps working on new projects of advanced nuclear technologies, on which the energy security of Ukraine depends on in this challenging time. The company is doing its utmost to ensure that our country continues to move towards a carbon-free and clean future with nuclear energy as its integral part,” said Patro Kotin, president of Energoatom.
Nuclear fuel delivery breaks Ukraine’s dependence on Russian energy
Additionally, Westinghouse Electric Company officially delivered its initial batch of VVER-440 fuel assemblies to Energoatom to help break the country’s energy reliance on Russian sources.
VVER-1000 reactors are a type of pressurized water reactor (PWR) initially developed in the former Soviet Union. These reactors are currently in use in various countries, especially in Eastern Europe and they are employed in nuclear power plants to generate electricity.
Galushchenko, the Swedish Ambassador to Ukraine Martin Åberg, and senior leadership representatives from Energoatom and Westinghouse witnessed the fuel loading process into the reactor core at Rivne NPP.
This delivery comes after an extensive licensing procedure and a remarkable development initiative conducted at Westinghouse’s fuel fabrication facility in Sweden.
“The greatness of this day is the end of the Russian monopoly in this segment of the nuclear fuel market. This will pave the way for not only Ukraine, but the whole region, to achieve true nuclear energy independence,” said Galushchenko.
This delivery further solidifies the strategic partnership between Westinghouse and Energoatom, which encompasses the provision of VVER nuclear fuel for Ukraine’s existing reactor fleet and cooperative efforts in the deployment of nine new AP1000 reactors in the country.