Ukraine accelerates plans for four new reactors

January 29, 2024, 3:10PMNuclear News
The Khmelnitskiy nuclear power plant, site of Ukraine's planned new reactors. (Photo: RLuts)

Ukraine plans to start construction on four new nuclear plants this summer or fall, the country’s energy minister said in televised remarks today.

The quicker timeline aims to compensate Ukraine for lost energy capacity as its war with Russia continues. Ukraine’s government, however, still needs to sign off on the plans.

“We need vessels,” said energy minister German Galushchenko.

The details: Two of the units will be built with Russian-made VVER-1000 units, which will be imported from Bulgaria. The other pair will use Westinghouse technology. All four units are to be built at the Khmelnytskyi nuclear plant in western Ukraine, where two 950-MWe VVER-1000 reactors are currently operating.

Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear operator, signed an agreement with Westinghouse in December 2023 to purchase equipment for its new AP-1000 units.

"We need to pass [parliamentary] legislation, and we have draft laws on the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th units. This is [for the] VVER-1000s, while [for] the 5th and 6th we want to build the AP-type. This is a parallel process," Galushchenko said.

Other plants: Ukraine is home to four nuclear plants with a total of 15 reactors. The three nuclear plants in Ukraine-controlled territory produce more than 55 percent of the country’s electricity.

Zaporizhzhia—Europe’s largest nuclear plant—remains under Russian control, and its six reactors are off line. Russia took over the site in early 2022 as part of its invasion of Ukraine.

Once completed, the four new reactors would make Khmelnytskyi the largest nuclear plant in Europe.

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