The United Kingdom Will Fund Ukraine's Nuclear Security with €225 Million
London will provide credit guarantees amounting to 192 million pounds (€225 million) to strengthen Ukraine's energy security and also purchase nuclear fuel from British companies.
This was reported by Reuters, citing UK Energy Minister Grant Shapps.
"This guarantee that we will provide will help Ukraine ensure that ... their nuclear fuel will not come through Russia in the future. These funds will ensure that it comes from much safer sources," Shapps said in an interview with Reuters.
One of these sources will be the British consortium Urenco, which produces nuclear fuel.
Russia deliberately destroyed the Ukrainian energy system during the last heating season, targeting critical infrastructure enterprises and leaving millions of Ukrainians without electricity, water, and heating.
Without an alternative, Ukraine became more dependent on outdated nuclear power plants, which provided about half of the country's energy needs before the start of the full-scale invasion.
Currently, Ukraine controls only three out of four such power plants, with the fourth – Europe's largest – Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, located in the southern part of the Zaporizhzhia region, captured and mined by Russia in March 2022.
In March 2023, the Ukrainian Energoatom reported that all seven operating energy blocks under Ukraine's control had been fully switched to fuel from the American company Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB.
"Ukraine became the first state on the European continent to successfully diversify the supply of nuclear fuel for NPP reactors," emphasized Petro Kotin, President of the State Enterprise "NNEGC Energoatom."
Furthermore, starting from 2024, all 15 energy blocks of Ukrainian NPPs will be provided with this fuel. After this, Ukraine's nuclear energy will become completely independent from Russia.
In parallel, Energoatom, together with the Swedish company Westinghouse, is working on the project of "internal" production of nuclear fuel. Thus, in the spring of 2023, the Ministry of Energy announced that "thermal fuel assemblies for nuclear reactor units of nuclear power plants will be produced on the production line of a Ukrainian enterprise," and by 2024, licenses are planned to be obtained and industrial production of other components will begin, which will be used for the production of nuclear fuel for Energoatom's needs at the Westinghouse plant in the city of Westeros in Sweden.
After gaining independence in 1991, the sole supplier of nuclear fuel to the country was the Russian monopolist company JSC "TVEL." However, since 2000, the Ukrainian "Energoatom" began gradually moving away from Russian fuel, seeking alternatives. In March 2022, Ukraine announced a complete refusal to purchase Russian fuel.