Putin’s war backfires as US strikes nuclear deal with Ukraine, blow to Kremlin | Science | New
The American nuclear company Westinghouse has agreed to supply fuel to all Ukrainian nuclear power plants. The agreement was signed on June 2 between Energoatom, the Ukrainian nuclear energy giant, the American company and its Swedish subsidiary. Westinghouse will build nine new nuclear units in the country and set up an engineering center in Ukraine.
This builds on an earlier commitment by Westinghouse to build five new reactors in the country.
While much of Ukraine’s energy comes from the country’s uranium and coal resources, much of it is also supplied by Russia.
The country has 15 reactors generating about half of its electricity, most of its nuclear services and it also receives nuclear fuel from Russia.
But amid the brutal war Putin has unleashed since mid-February, Ukraine is scrambling to wean itself off supplies from its neighbor and bolster its energy security through alternative means.
Westinghouse, which has already helped the country reduce its dependence on Moscow, is now helping to reduce Kyiv’s dependence on the Kremlin at a faster pace.
The company said in a statement: “In connection with the refusal to purchase Russian nuclear fuel, Energoatom has agreed with its strategic partner, Westinghouse, to increase the supply of US nuclear fuel for all Ukrainian nuclear power plants.”
Fuel for the new AP1000 reactors will be supplied from Westinghouse’s manufacturing site in Västerås, Sweden.
Sweden’s Ambassador to Ukraine, Tobias Thyberg, tweeted: “Swedish company Westinghouse today agreed with Energoatom to supply all of Ukraine’s nuclear fuel, so they never have to import a single nuclear fuel again. fuel rod from Russia.
“One of the millions of ways Russia’s illegal war on Ukraine backfires.”
Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said: “We will modernize our fleet of nuclear power plants, which will produce clean, safe and reliable energy without any Russian influence.”
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There are currently four operating nuclear power plants in Ukraine.
Russian troops took control of the largest, Zaporizhzhia, at the start of the invasion.
But Ukrainian technicians are still operating the plant.
Russian soldiers had also taken control of Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster.
Up to 211 workers who maintain the now defunct factory were taken hostage in connection with the invasion of Ukraine.