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British intel: Energoatom shifts to Western nuclear fuel, moving away from Russian dependence

Energoatom refuels the Rivne NPP reactor with Western-produced fuel. The decision showcases Ukraine’s continued movement away from Russian energy sources.

Ukraine’s nuclear operator Energoatom sources Western-produced fuel for its Rivne power plant reactor. The company’s shift to Western fuel for Ukraine’s Soviet-designed NPPs is a key point in Ukraine’s long-term decoupling from Russia, which used to supply nuclear fuel, the UK Defense Ministry says in its intelligence update.

The ministry tweeted:

  • On 10 September 2023, Energoatom, Ukraine’s nuclear power plant operator, announced it had a successfully refuelled a reactor at its Rivne Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) using Western-produced nuclear fuel assemblies.
  • All of Ukraine’s NPPs have reactors based on Soviet designs and until February 2022 it relied on Russia for nuclear fuel. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine has accelerated plans to diversify its supply.
  • With nuclear energy supplying approximately half of Ukraine’s electricity, Energoatom’s success in sourcing and installing Western fuel is a major waypoint in Ukraine’s long-term decoupling from Russia whose influence over Ukraine’s energy supply is severely diminished.

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