Westinghouse signs initial contract for Ukrainian AP1000s

22 November 2021

A contract signed by the Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom and US vendor Westinghouse will trigger the engineering and procurement of components for the first of several AP1000s planned for Ukraine. The country is planning as much as 11 GWe of new build by 2040.

Patrick Fragman (seated left) and Petro Kotin (seated right) sign on behalf of Westinghouse and Energoatom, respectively (Image: Energoatom)

"This contract to build the first AP1000 plant at the Khmelnitsky site brings the country one step closer to reaching its decarbonisation and energy security objectives," said Westinghouse President and CEO Patrick Fragman. Energoatom Acting President Petro Kotin said, "The agreement ... opens a new stage in the development of Ukraine's nuclear energy sector."

In September a suite of deals between Ukraine and the USA specified that five new reactors could be built "using AP1000 technology". The first is to be Khmelnitsky 4, where engineers have the opportunity to make use of historic structures of a VVER-1000 reactor for which construction stalled in 1990 at 28% completion.

A technical delegation from Westinghouse visited Khmelnitsky this month, and Energoatom managers have  taken a tour of stored AP1000 components from the cancelled VC Summer construction project in South Carolina.

Today's deal was signed in Kiev by Kotin and Fragman as the centrepiece of a conference entitled Nuclear Opportunities for Development of the Country. Ukrainian energy minister Herman Halushcheko and US chargé d'affairs to Ukraine Kristina Kvien were in attendance.

Kotin expanded on Ukraine's overall nuclear energy plans: "Our goal is 24 GW of nuclear capacity by 2040. We are going to do it by our specialists efforts, as well as with the help of our international partners." Ukraine already has 13.1 GWe of nuclear capacity from 15 reactors which meet 53% of demand, though the earliest of these would be 60 years old by 2040 and therefore expected to have retired.

Energy minister Herman Halushchenko told the conference, "We have changed our attitude to nuclear generation. The state considers nuclear energy to be the basis of the country's energy."

Halushchenko added that, "The current energy crisis in Europe and in the world is pushing us to understand that nuclear energy is our decarbonised future. This is the future in terms of stability, reliability, safety and new opportunities, in particular, the development of small modular reactors."

As well as today's deal with Westinghouse, in September Kotin signed a Memorandum of Understanding with US vendor NuScale to examine potential for deploying its small reactors. Energoatom also plans to complete the VVER-1000 unit of Russian design at Khmelnitsky 3 using domestic capabilities.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News