Westinghouse to Supply Slovakia Nuclear Power Plants with Nuclear Fuel

Westinghouse to Supply Slovakia Nuclear Power Plants with Nuclear Fuel

Slovenské elektrárne made a long-term deal with Westinghouse Electric Company to fuel its nuclear power plants in Slovakia, particularly in Bohunice and Mochovce.

Westinghouse to Crank Up Slovakia’s Nuclear Power Plants

Westinghouse is a major supplier of nuclear fuel worldwide, delivering various portfolios across a range of nuclear reactor types. It has manufacturing facilities in the US, Sweden, and the UK.

“We are very pleased to contribute to Slovakia’s fuel diversification and to strengthen our long-standing partnership with Slovenské elektrárne. We offer the only fully Western alternative fuel for this type of reactor and remain committed to supporting Slovakia’s operating fleet, leveraging our Swedish fabrication footprint,” said Tarik Choho, Westinghouse’s president of Nuclear Fuel.

On the other hand, Slovenské elektrárne General Director, Branislav Strýček said that maintaining another nuclear fuel supplier for its nuclear power plants is a crucial step in reinforcing Slovakia’s energy security. He added that power plants indicate a significant foundation in the country’s energy mix. He considers it paramount to secure nuclear fuel supply divergence for their resolute operation.

Slovakia runs five nuclear reactors and another unit, which is under construction. These units are Bohunice 3 and 4, Mochovce 1, 2, and 3, and Mochovce 4, respectively. All of these units are VVER-440 Model V-213 designs. Soviet designers developed this pressurised water reactor between 1970 and 1980.

Slovenské elektrárne owns and operates these Slovakian nuclear reactors and has been updated with the most recent mechanism to handle ‘severe accidents.’ These nuclear power plants usually generate 59% of electricity and could improve in the future. France, on the other hand, produces 62%.

Several nuclear power plant operators in the EU countries rely on Russian-supplied fuel. However, with its invasion of Ukraine last year, they scouted for alternative suppliers. TVEL Fuel Company used to be the fuel supplier in European countries.

Particulars of the Agreement

Based on the agreement made, US-based Westinghouse will license and supply VVER-440 fuel assemblies in Bohunice and Mochovce nuclear power plants. Likewise, the understanding backs Slovakia’s efforts to deviate from Russia-supplied fuel.

“The cornerstone of the diversification strategy of Slovenske Elektrarne is to support any initiative and cooperation in order to have a portfolio of at least two alternative nuclear fuel suppliers,” according to the company.

Initially, the fuel for Slovakia’s VVER 440 reactors must have a license and its utilisation would start about one year following the process. In the EU and Ukraine, more than 30 VVER-440 and VVER-1000 reactors operate.

Image Credit: Peko/WikimediaCommons

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