bykvu.com Ukraine&#39;s state-owned operator of nuclear power plants, Energoatom, has signed a contract with France&#39;s Orano for the latter to assess the feasibility of reprocessing services of spent fuel assemblies of Ukrainian VVER-1000 nuclear reactors. The reprocessing might be carried out at the Orano la Hague facility, according to the French company&#39;s press service, Business Wire reported Thursday. The contract was signed in the presence of Oleksander Shavlakov, First Vice-President of Energoatom and Pascal Aubret, Senior Executive Vice President of Orano&#39;s Recycling Business Unit. After producing electricity in a power reactor, the used fuel contains 96% of recyclable materials and 4% of final waste. The process implemented at Orano&#39;s la Hague plant consists in separating the reusable materials, which will once again be used to produce energy, from the final waste which undergoes safe and stable conditioning and packaging. The first step of this process, conducted remotely and in fully automated mode, is referred to as shearing-dissolution. Here, the metal cladding containing the materials is sheared into 35 mm sections in order to release the materials for conditioning. The metal sections are rinsed and compacted using a 2,500-tonne press, which reduces the volume of waste by a factor of 5. Read alsoEnergoatom posts over US$51 mln in pre-tax profit in two months of 2018"This contract marks an important step for Orano and constitutes a real success for us. It will pave the way for treatment of Ukrainian used fuel by the French recycling sector," said Pascal Aubret. As UNIAN reported earlier, citing President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine is the only country in the world with developed nuclear power industry without its own storage facility for the spent nuclear fuel. Speaking at a recent press conference on the anniversary of Chornobyl tragedy, Poroshenko said the construction of a centralized storage facility for spent nuclear fuel would secure "nuclear independence" from Russia. UNIAN memo. Energoatom is the operator of four nuclear power plants in Ukraine (Zaporizhia NPP, Rivne NPP, Yuzhnoukrainsk NPP, and Khmelnytsky NPP). The NPPs operate 15 nuclear power units (13 VVER-1000 and two VVER-440 units) with a total capacity of 13.84 GW. Orano deals with transforming nuclear materials so that they can be used to support the development of society, primarily in the field of energy. The group offers products and services with high added value throughout the entire nuclear fuel cycle, from raw materials to waste treatment. Its activities, from mining to dismantling, as well as in conversion, enrichment, recycling, logistics and engineering, contribute to the production of low carbon electricity.