Ukraine`s Energoatom, the operator of all nuclear power plants across the country, will load Westinghouse nuclear fuel at power units No. 1, 3 and 4 of Zaporizhia nuclear power plant (NPP) in 2017, according to the press service of the State Scientific and Technical Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety, with reference to head of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) Serhiy Bozhko.
”By the end of 2016, the assemblies (fuel assemblies that contain nuclear fuel manufactured by Westinghouse company) will also be loaded at power unit No. 2 of Yuzhnoukrainsk NPP, and next year – at power units No. 1, 3 and 4 of Zaporizhia NPP,” the report by the National Nuclear Energy Generating Company Energoatom reads.
It is also reported that the loading of Westinghouse nuclear fuel at Zaporizhia NPP will take place along with the modernization of core monitoring systems.
According to Bozhko, power unit No. 3 of Yuzhnoukrainsk NPP will be fully loaded with Westinghouse nuclear fuel in 2018. He also said that the use of this fuel reduces Ukraine`s dependence on a single supplier.
”At the moment, Westinghouse assemblies are loaded by a quarter and by half of the core of the two units accordingly: power unit No. 5 of Zaporizhia NPP and power unit No. 3 of Yuzhnoukrainsk NPP,” the report says.
Ukraine intends to buy one-third of nuclear fuel for its NPPs from Westinghouse in 2016 as part of measures aimed at diversifying sources of nuclear fuel supplies. In 2015, almost all the fuel purchased was originating from Russia.
In March last year, Yuzhnoukrainsk NPP successfully completed the loading of upgraded TVS-WR fuel manufactured by Westinghouse at its power unit No. 3. In April, the unit was connected to the country`s power grid.
In February 2016, Energoatom bought the first batch of U.S.-produced nuclear fuel for Zaporizhia NPP.
Shipments of nuclear fuel, produced by U.S.-Japanese Westinghouse, from Sweden to Ukraine accounted for 41.6% of the fuel elements required by Ukrainian nuclear power plants (NPPs) in the first six months of 2016, while the share of supplies from Russia`s TVEL was 58.4%.
In 2018, Ukraine nuclear energy giant Energoatom plans to fill the active zone of one of the reactors with Westinghouse fuel alone, completely replacing TVEL.
Memo. Energoatom is Ukraine`s largest electricity producer, accounting for about 50% of the country`s overall power output. Energoatom is responsible for the safe operation of all nuclear power plants in the country.