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Ukraine counts on first batch of Westinghouse fuel for VVER-440 by year end – head of nuclear regulator

KYIV. March 9 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine expects to receive the first batch of nuclear fuel produced by the American company Westinghouse for VVER-440 power units as early as this year, Oleh Korikov, head of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate, said.

“Thanks to our joint project with the United States and Westinghouse, a licensed manufacturer of nuclear fuel has actually been set up that can and is operated in VVER reactors (VVER-1000), and now the fuel is supplied to Ukrainian nuclear power plants. So far, there is no such degree of readiness for VVER-440, but by the end of the year it is planned to load the first batch of Westinghouse fuel into VVER-440 power units,” Korikov said at a briefing at the Media Center in Kyiv on Thursday.

“This is our big common task with the Americans, which we are now jointly solving,” he stressed.

As reported, Minister of Energy of Ukraine Herman Haluschenko said in early March that Ukrainian nuclear power plants would be able to completely switch to the fuel of the American company Westinghouse by the end of 2023.

At the same time, the minister emphasized that the Russians had an almost monopoly position on the fuel market for VVER-440 units, and the Ukrainian and American sides were working to ensure that Westinghouse starts producing assemblies for these units this year.