Ukraine aims to produce enough uranium for nuclear power needs By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Power lines are seen near the Trypillian thermal power plant in Kyiv region, Ukraine, November 23, 2017. REUTERS / Valentyn Ogirenko

KYIV (Reuters) – Ukraine, facing a shortage of fuel for thermal power plants and soaring gas prices, aims to increase uranium production to fully meet the needs of its nuclear power plants after 2026, said the government on Wednesday.

Under a national program adopted by the government on Wednesday, Ukraine will invest 9.1 billion hryvnia ($ 335 million) over the next five years to increase uranium mining and processing facilities in the center of the country.

He said that the production of four Ukrainian uranium deposits will total 995 tons in 2022 and is expected to reach 1,265 tons in 2026.

He gave no uranium production figures for 2021, but said current production meets around 40% of Ukraine’s nuclear fuel needs.

The rest comes from imports from Russia and the United States.

Ukraine lost most of its coal mines after the seizure of the eastern regions by separatists following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. Given the surge in gas prices which makes production unprofitable gas, it imports coal for its thermal power stations.

Four Ukrainian nuclear power plants produce just over half of the country’s electricity, while the rest comes from coal and production (36%) and renewables (13%) in October 2021, according to government figures .

The World Nuclear Association said Ukraine produced 800 tonnes of uranium in 2019 and 744 tonnes in 2020.

($ 1 = 27.1623 hryvnias)

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