Ukraine expects to start building four new nuclear power reactors in 2023 as the country seeks to compensate for lost energy capacity due to the war with Russia, said Energy Minister German Halushchenko, Reuters has reported.
According to the minister, all four reactors will be built at the Khmelnytskyi nuclear power plant in the west of Ukraine.
Two of the units, which include reactors, will be based on Russian-made equipment that Ukraine plans to import from Bulgaria, and the other two will use technology from power equipment maker Westinghouse.
“I think (we’ll start construction) in summer-autumn,” said Halushchenko.
Currently, three nuclear power plants in Ukraine-controlled territory in Zaporizhzhia, Khmelnytskyi, and Rivne oblasts produce more than 55% of the country’s electricity needs, but Kyiv wants to expand the sector to help compensate for the loss of Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s largest nuclear plant. Since 2022, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has been occupied by Russian invaders.
“With the 3rd and 4th (Khmelnytkyi units), we want to compensate for Zaporizhzhia, and now we are in talks with our Bulgarian partners on the two reactors we want to take,” added Halushchenko.
In December, Ukraine’s nuclear power company Energoatom and Westinghouse signed an agreement on the purchase of equipment for Khmelnytskyi’s 5th power unit.