Westinghouse Electric Company and Madrid-based ENUSA intend to collaborate on VVER-440 fuel fabrication, the American firm announced last week at the World Nuclear Association’s World Nuclear Symposium.
The partnership, Westinghouse stated in a September 8 release, “will build on decades of performance delivering a Western alternative to Russian fuel in the European market.” There are currently 16 nuclear power reactors in Europe operating with VVER-440 fuel, and utilities in the region are actively looking for alternatives to Russian-supplied fuel for those units, according to the release.
Signers’ language: “We have a mutual interest in partnering in VVER-440 fuel manufacturing and potentially other related areas,” said Tarik Choho, Westinghouse’s president of nuclear fuel. “With our proven track record supplying for VVER reactors, we stand ready to support even greater energy security for our customers and European countries. We look forward to strengthening our partnership with ENUSA and leveraging their valuable experience in this field.”
ENUSA president and chief executive officer Mariano Moreno asserted, “This declaration of intent demonstrates our mutual commitment with energy security throughout Europe in an especially difficult context, as we build on our past successful experience supplying nuclear fuel to Loviisa nuclear power plant in Finland.”
Background: Westinghouse and ENUSA first partnered in 1974 under a pressurized water reactor fuel technology transfer agreement in support of nuclear facilities in Spain, Belgium, and France, among others. Through the partnership, some 750 VVER-440 fuel assemblies were delivered to the Loviisa plant in Finland between 2002 and 2007.
The companies also collaborated on the European Supply of Safe Nuclear Fuel Horizon 2020 project from 2015 to 2017.
In case you missed it: In June, Westinghouse stepped up its partnership with Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear utility, signing agreements to supply all of the nuclear fuel for the country’s operating reactor fleet and collaborate on the construction of nine AP1000 units for Ukraine, rather than the five earlier envisioned.
In addition, the two companies affirmed their intention to establish a Westinghouse Engineering Center in Ukraine to support the planned AP1000 projects, as well as Energoatom’s operating fleet and future decommissioning program.