Two USA companies expand their roles in Ukraine’s nuclear future

11:12, 31 March 2008
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Westinghouse and Holtec signed contracts with Ukraine

Westinghouse Electric Company and Holtec International, two of the most respected names in the nuclear energy field, Sunday signed contracts with Ukraine to provide support in the country`s efforts to develop new sources of nuclear fuel and to provide safe and secure storage for nuclear waste, according to a U.S.- Ukraine Business Council press-release, forwarded to UNIAN.

The two contracts were signed by Yuriy Kovrizhkin, president of Ukraine`s national nuclear energy generation company Enerhoatom. The Westinghouse contact was signed by Andres Jackson, Vice President, European LWR Fuel Business and the Holtec International contract by President/CEO Dr. Kris Singh.

Among those attending the signing ceremonies were William H Taylor, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, officials of the Ministry of Fuel and Energy  of Ukraine, and officials of the United States Department of Energy. The contracts were signed just before George Bush, president of the United States, pay his first official visit to Ukraine, March 31st and April 1st.

Both of the nuclear firms, Westinghouse and Holtec, are members of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC). "Today is one of the most important days since Ukraine`s independence as the efforts of these two internationally known companies will go a long way to assuring that Ukraine has greater energy independence," said Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer, who serves as USUBC president.

"This is made more important by the fact that for Ukraine, energy and political independence are closely interdependent. I join all of the USUBC members in toasting the success of these two great member companies, as we all work to assist Ukraine on its path to Euro-Atlantic integration and a strong democratic, private market driven nationhood," Williams stated.

Michael Kirst, a member of the USUBC executive committee, who serves as Vice President, Central and Eastern European Fuel, for Westinghouse, has been working has been working on the Ukraine project for many years with the long-run goal to finally sign a real commercial contact with  Ukraine.

Williams said, "Michael Kirst is to be congratulated for his outstanding work to keep all the parties at the table for so long and for the key role he played  in the final successful outcome. USUBC also congratulates the officials  of the Ukraine government and the U.S. government who also have worked  on this program for several years."

"Holtec`s International President/CEO Dr. Kris Singh, William Woodward. Vice President Nuclear Projects and Kevin Cuthill, head of Holtec Ukraine are  also to be congratulated for their work in expanding Holtec`s operation in  Ukraine."

Nuclear power occupies one of the most prominent places in the Ukrainian economy with more than 38,000 employed in the industry.  For recent years, with only 22.8 percent of the installed capacity, nuclear power plants during autumn and winter maximum loads generated about 53 percent of the country`s electricity.

At the same time, shares of nuclear electricity generation are stable: in 1996 it was 43.8  percent, in 2000 - 45.3 percent, in 2004 - 53.2 percent, in 2005 - 52.3 percent, in 2006 - 46.4 percent, in 2007 - 47.4. Currently there are 15 operating power units at Ukrainian NPPs, including 13 units with VVER 1000 and 2 units with VVER 440 new generation). Ukraine`s Zaporizha NPP is the largest nuclear generating facility in Europe.

Russia`s TVEL corporation is now the monopoly provider of nuclear fuel for Ukraine`s four nuclear power plants and Ukraine now ships all of their nuclear waste to Russia and pays Russia over $100 million a year for storage costs.

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