Ukraine intends to switch to the use of advanced nuclear reactors and localize their technological production, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky said during a meeting with Rafael Mariano Grossi, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Ukraine’s Energoatom said in June 2019 that it had signed a partnership agreement with the U.S. Holtec and the State Scientific and Technical Center for Nuclear and Radiation Safety to create an international consortium to implement SMR-160 technologies in Ukraine.
“Vladimir Zelensky noted that our country plans to switch to the use of the latest nuclear reactors, including SMR-160 small modular reactors, as it has a goal to localize technological production for SMR-160 in Ukraine,” the Ukrainian leader’s office said in an April 26 press release.
According to the Ukrainian leader, the country is determined to develop its nuclear energy sector to ensure energy security as well as to synchronize the national energy system with the European Union energy system.
“Energoatom” reported that small modular reactors have a much higher level of safety than traditional types of reactors due to the absence in them of equipment that requires an external power supply, as well as due to passive safety systems. Such reactors use low-enriched uranium as fuel.
Ukraine has four nuclear power plants with 15 reactors (all with VVER reactors), one of which, the Zaporozhskaya Nuclear Power Plant with six reactors and a total installed capacity of 6000 MW, is the largest in Europe. By the number of power reactors, Ukraine ranks tenth in the world and fifth in Europe.