The construction is planned as the expansion of the Khmelnytskyi Nuclear Power Plant in western Ukraine, the energy minister German Galushchenko told Reuters.
It is intended to replace energy capacity lost due to Russia’s occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, in 2022.
Galushchenko said Ukraine expects to import equipment for two Soviet-era VVER-1000 reactors from Bulgaria to complete reactors 3 and 4 at Khmelnytskyi, construction of which began in the 1980s but was never finished. Simultaneously, Ukraine wants to construct two entirely new modern AP1000 reactors in cooperation with American company Westinghouse, which would become units 5 and 6 at Khmelnytskyi.
“If we received the reactor vessels today, I think it would be 2.5 years, and we would have a third reactor on line,” Galushchenko told Reuters.
Ukraine’s three nuclear plants in government-controlled territory currently supply over 55% of the country’s electricity. Expanding nuclear power generation will help replace the lost capacity from Zaporizhzhia as the war with Russia continues.
In December 2023, Ukraine’s nuclear power firm Energoatom and Westinghouse signed an agreement to purchase equipment for Khmelnytskyi’s 5th power unit. Galushchenko said that the construction plan could be completed within a few years if legislation is approved in time.
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