The Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Station (Ukrainian: Запорізька АЕС) in Ukraine is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and the fifth largest in the world. The plant is located in Central Ukraine near the city of Enerhodar, on the banks of the Kakhovka Reservoir on the Dnieper river. It has 6 VVER-1000 pressurized light water nuclear reactors, each generating 1000 MWe, for a total power output of 6,000 MWe. The first five were successively brought online between 1985 and 1989, and the sixth was added in 1995. The plant generates about half of the country's electricity derived from nuclear power and more than a fifth of total electricity generated in Ukraine. This was the last construction in the former Soviet Union for a period of time.
the war for Nuclear fuel in Ukraine
Westinghouse says .. "never mind the minor structural defects. " !!!
A U.S.-based energy company and Ukraine are on the verge of signing a deal that would lessen Russia's influence and give the West greater leverage on the former Soviet republic.
Westinghouse Electric Co. of Pennsylvania said on Thursday it is in negotiations to extend its contract with Ukraine energy operator Energoatom to supply nuclear fuel for reactors, a deal that would bolster the country's commitment to long-term cooperation with the West.The talks come after the Obama administration has extended the welcome mat to the interim Ukraine government as Kiev looks to strike deals with Western partners. In March, Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk met with President Barack Obama before meeting with Westinghouse officials in Pennsylvania."Westinghouse is currently in discussions with Energoatom to agree on an amended fuel supply contract," Westinghouse spokesman Hans Korteweg said.Ilona Zayets, a spokeswoman for state-owned Energoatom, said the two sides are in final negotiations on the deal, adding that Energoatom hopes to sign the contract next week.Ukraine's turbulent pivot westward comes with many challenges. The country is highly dependent on Russia for energy supplies and trade, which increases the vulnerability of its economy. It is a scenario that exists in several countries on the EU's eastern flank.On Thursday, the head of Russia's state-run gas giant, OAO Gazprom, OGZPY -2.45% said Ukraine will have to pay more for natural gas after a discount agreement was torn up by Russian President Vladimir Putin. That followed Gazprom's decision Tuesday to raise prices by 44%.
The interim government in Kiev, which came to power earlier this year after public protests and violence, has reached out to the West for alternatives and last week signed several parts of a long-sought association agreement with the EU.he nuclear contract being negotiated would extend for an unspecified number of years a fuel contract between Westinghouse, a unit of Japan's Toshiba Corp. 6502.TO -1.47% , and Energoatom. The original deal was signed in 2008.Westinghouse first delivered fuel to Energoatom reactors in 2010. The company's fuel is currently used in two reactors in southern Ukraine.A senior Westinghouse official late last year said the deal is valued at about $100 million for a five-year supply. He added that a renewal of the contract was essential to keep its Swedish fuel processing plant in operation.The Swedish plant is the only non-Russian facility that produces fuel for Russian-designed reactors used in EU countries. It is a crucial outpost as the West aims to check Russian influence in Europe's eastern regions.The deal, if completed, also could provide the Czech Republic and Bulgaria—which both have Russian VVER 1000-type reactors—with an alternative fuel supplier.
August 8, 2013 12:00 AM
By Anya Litvak Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
In a vacuum, Westinghouse's recent setbacks with fuel assemblies in the Ukraine could be interpreted just as the utility EnergoAtom described them: minor structural defects. Eastern Europe, however, is far from a vacuum.
The arrangement of hexahedral fuel assemblies compared to a Westinghouse PWR design
In the nuclear world, it's one of the front lines in a commercial battle between the U.S. nuclear giant, Cranberry-based Westinghouse Electric Co., and Russia's state-owned Rosatom. Not to mention the word "minor" doesn't fit anything about a nuclear reactor, least of all in a country that's home to Chernobyl, the worst nuclear disaster in history.
While Westinghouse and EnergoAtom remain optimistic that the structural issues are behind them, Ukraine's nuclear regulators are more cautious. And Russia is ready to step in to reclaim its monopoly over the country's nuclear operations. "You still have a split in the Ukraine," said Bob Percopo, a consultant to nuclear companies and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Some in the Ukraine government want to assert their independence from Russia, while others cling to old Soviet dynamics of Russia as protector. "And typical of Russia, they don't want to lose any of their influence on anything that was part of former Soviet Union," Mr. Percopo said.
Westinghouse has been trying to gain a foothold in Ukraine for more than a decade by tailoring its fuel services to the country's Russian-made reactors. Its involvement there began after the U.S. government signed on to help Ukraine experiment with Western-made fuel in its reactors. The former Soviet republic has always relied on Russia to supply its fuel but wanted to hedge its bets with other suppliers. Ukraine is already dependent on Russia for its natural gas supplies.
In 2005, Westinghouse got a commercial contract with EnergoAtom to supply fuel assemblies between 2011 and 2015. In 2012, during a routine inspection, the utility reported that Westinghouse's assemblies had structural damage. It had to swap those for Russian-made fuel assemblies, which the utility estimated cost $170 million.
EnergoAtom's attorney told Ukrainian media recently that the utility is preparing documents to file a suit against Westinghouse. Earlier this summer, Westinghouse submitted a design proposal to the Ukrainian nuclear regulator for amending its fuel assemblies to resolve the alleged defects. Then, in mid-July, inspectors found defects in another set of assemblies. Scott Shaw, a spokesman for Westinghouse, declined to comment on the consequence of the situation and, instead, provided this statement:
"Westinghouse continues to discuss long-term fuel supply to Ukrainian reactors; there is a mutual recognition of the value of competitive supply and technology diversification. We believe our fuel is of high quality and we fully expect a long-term presence in the Ukrainian fuel market."
This is Westinghouse's second attempt to fuel Russian-made reactors. In 2000, it began supplying nuclear fuel to CEZ, a Czech utility, for two reactors that it helped to modify at CEZ's Temelin station. In 2009, Russian company TVEL took that business away. Now, the two rivals have returned to Temelin for a fight over an even bigger prize -- the contract to build two new nuclear reactors, a $10 billion project.
Westinghouse and Rosatom are the final two bidders under consideration by the Czech utility. It's a capitalist Cold War showdown. But Mark Hibbs, senior associate in the nuclear policy program with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said there's at least one benefit for Westinghouse if Russia succeeds in its plans to pepper the world with its reactors. To the extent that Westinghouse can prove its fuel is safe and effective inside Russian-made reactors, the American company can wait for Rosatom to build new plants in foreign countries, then come in and try to undercut Russia on fuel contracts.
That's one of the motivations behind Westinghouse's work in Ukraine, Mr. Hibbs said, even with the setbacks the company has suffered there."As Russia's nuclear universe expands, it would be logical for Westinghouse to piggyback on that emerging market," he said.
Khmelnitsky Nuclear Power Station
Khmelnitsky Nuclear Power Station