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Ukraine further diversifies nuclear fuel supply with Canadian deal

Ukraine further diversifies nuclear fuel supply with Canadian deal Ukraine further diversifies nuclear fuel supply with Canadian deal

Kiev, August 28 - Neftegaz.RU. Energoatom and Cameco last week signed a MoU as part of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant operator's strategy to diversify its nuclear fuel supply, Ukrainian UNIAN reported.

Energoatom, which said the agreement considers cooperation in the supply and production of uranium products and nuclear fuel using Cameco's technologies, purchased more than half of its fuel in the 1st half of this year from the USA's Westinghouse.

Its traditional nuclear fuel supplier is Russia's TVEL, according to World Nuclear News. Energoatom said that such diversification means it is fully complying with the recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency to have at least 2 suppliers of nuclear fuel.

In addition, in August 2016, Energoatom and the British-German-Dutch company Urenco entered into an agreement on the supply of enriched uranium. On July 10 this year, Ukraine's Cabinet of Ministers approved the reorganization of SE Eastern Mining and Processing Enterprise – Zhovti Vody, in Dnipropetrovsk region – by merging it with Energoatom.

This approval envisages Energoatom's creation of an integrated infrastructure that will include facilities for the extraction and processing of uranium raw materials and the production of nuclear power. Energoatom will also receive a base for zirconium production, meaning it will be able to produce zirconium components for nuclear fuel independently.

One of the 3 largest uranium producers in the world, Cameco owns uranium mines and conversion plants in Canada and the USA, as well as a 60% stake in the Inkai joint venture with Kazatomprom of Kazakhstan. Cameco accounts for about 18% of world uranium production and 9% of world uranium supplies.

Energoatom operates all of Ukraine's 4 nuclear power plants – Zaporozhia, Rivne, Yuzhnoukrainsk and Khmelnitsky – which comprise 15 nuclear reactors, including 13 VVER-1000s and two VVER-440s with a total capacity of 13,835 MWe.