The Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Ministry intends to put its projects to produce nuclear fuel in Ukraine back on track, Deputy Energy and Coal Industry Minister Vadym Ulyda has said.
“Today we are reviving the projects to manufacture nuclear fuel in Ukraine, bearing in mind the fact that we have our own raw materials and our own development procedures,” he said at an Adam Smith Conferences event in Kyiv on Tuesday. Ukraine is currently working to diversify its acquisitions of nuclear fuel, he said. Ukraine buys nuclear fuel from Russia’s company TVEL and the U.S. firm Westinghouse.
Ukraine earlier planned to build a nuclear fuel production facility with TVEL’s assistance on its territory. To implement the project, TVEL and the Ukrainian state corporation Nuclear Fuel set up a joint venture. The principal construction work at the site was to be started in the second quarter of 2014 and to be financed by funds raised through an additional issue of the joint venture’s stock.
The additional issue was endorsed in October 2013, and TVEL reported in November that it invested $42 million as the payment for its share. For the issue to be recognized legally, the Ukrainian co-owner of the joint venture was supposed to invest the same amount of money by December 31, 2013. It was presumed on the whole that the shareholders would invest about $100 million to $120 million on a parity basis and would then raise loans.
The overall value of the facility’s construction was estimated at $450 million. It was planned that the facility would start manufacturing fuel rods and fuel assemblies and also zirconium and corrosion-resistant steel components in 2015 and fuel powder and fuel pellets in 2020.
It turned out later that Ukraine decided not to invest its part of the additional issue, and the state corporation Nuclear Fuel refunded the $42 million to TVEL that it had invested earlier in the joint venture.