On September 10, 2023, a historic event took place at the Rivne NPP – the loading of Westinghouse fuel into reactor units with a capacity of 440 MW. Previously, reactors of this type operated only on russian-manufactured nuclear fuel.
The event was attended by Minister of Energy of Ukraine Herman Halushchenko, President of SE "NNEGC "Energoatom" Petro Kotin, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sweden to Ukraine Martin Åberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of Westinghouse Electric Company Patrick Fragman, Managing Director of Westinghouse Electric Sweden Aziz Dag, Chief of Rivne regional military administration Vitaliy Koval and Rivne NPP Director General Pavlo Kovtonyuk.
"The greatness of this day is the end of the monopoly of the russians in this segment of the nuclear fuel market. And I really hope that this day will pave the way for quick sanctions against the russians in the nuclear energy industry," Energy Minister of Ukraine Herman Halushchenko said during the celebrations dedicated to the event.
The Minister added that the contract for the supply of the relevant VVER-440 fuel assemblies was concluded in September 2020 in the presence of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Therefore, even before the start of a full-fledged invasion, Ukraine took a clear course to get rid of dependence on russia in the nuclear industry.
"And the fact that we were able to do this so quickly is a great success and a significant basis for our continued cooperation with Westinghouse, which is just expanding. This is a great day for the Ukrainian energy industry, for our cooperation with the USA and Sweden, where the relevant plant is located," Herman Halushchenko said, having expressed gratitude to nuclear power professionals who worked in Sweden and Ukraine on the relevant project.
Ukraine continues to strengthen energy independence and shows the world an example of how to eliminate the terrorist state – russia– from the markets of nuclear technologies.
Currently, Energoatom is the only power generating company in the world that operates Soviet reactor facilities and was able to implement a project to diversify the supply of nuclear fuel for VVER-1000 reactors.
"When the full-fledged invasion of russia began, we appealed to our Westinghouse partners with a proposal to accelerate the manufacture of fuel for VVER 440 reactors. With our engineering support, they produced it in a year and a half and delivered it here – to the Rivne nuclear power plant. I’m grateful to our partners for this, thank you to all involved," President of SE "NNEGC "Energoatom" Petro Kotin said.
He also added that on this day, when the RNPP satellite city – Varash – celebrates its 50th anniversary, Ukraine begins a new "nuclear" history – with Westinghouse fuel – and puts an end to the monopoly of the aggressor country, russia, on the manufacture of fuel for NPPs.
According to Petro Kotin, our state will forever refuse the services of the russian federation and switch to US fuel, and later domestic fuel will appear, which will be manufactured using Westinghouse technology, but in Ukraine.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sweden to Ukraine Martin Åberg emphasized that his country stands with Ukraine in the war against russia and is grateful to the Ukrainian people for their willingness to fight for democratic values.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Westinghouse Electric Company Patrick Fragman noted that in a year and a half, Energoatom and Westinghouse professionals did a great job, which usually lasts from six to seven years: "We did it together, and not only for Ukraine but also for most European countries, in which from now on nuclear reactors can be completely independent of fuel supplies from russia."
Managing Director of Westinghouse Electric Sweden Aziz Dag thanked all the specialists who worked at the plant in Sweden 24/7 to achieve the fastest possible result. He also stressed the importance of development in wintertime.