Westinghouse chips away at Russian nuclear fuel monopoly in Ukraine

During a routine inspection of the Yuzhnoukrainsk nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine’s Mykolaiv Oblast in 2012, the State Inspectorate for Nuclear Regulation “discovered” that the plant’s fuel assemblies (which provide support for nuclear rods in the plant’s reactor) were scratched, and therefore unusable.

Westinghouse Electric, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based producer of the fuel assemblies, protested the Inspectorate’s decision, arguing that Russian fuel (produced by state-owned nuclear power company TVEL) was chaffing, and thereby permanently damaging their fuel assemblies.

Despite Westinghouse’s protestations, regulators banned the use of the company’s fuel assemblies in Ukrainian plants, disrupting a contract between Westinghouse and the National Nuclear Energy Generating Company of Ukraine (Energoatom) signed in 2008, and making TVEL the sole supplier of nuclear fuel to Ukraine.

For the full story, please visit The Kyiv Post.

(The Yuzhnoukrainsk nuclear power plant in Mykolaiv Oblast. Photo: Provided)