We are pleased to report that Ukraine’s National Nuclear Energy Company “Energoatom” has successfully begun transporting used nuclear fuel from the nation’s operating reactors to its newly built and commissioned Holtec-engineered Central Spent Fuel Storage Facility (CSFSF) (called “Consolidated Interim Storage (CIS) Facility” in the U.S.). The courage, determination and resilience shown by Energoatom’s and Ukraine’s national leadership, who continued the construction and final commissioning of the massive storage facility in the face of the murderous putin regime’s relentless attacks with missiles and drones on Ukraine’s territory, will live on in history books. Thanks to their resolve, russia is now unable to force Ukraine’s reactors to shutdown for lack of used fuel storage capacity. Not only does the CSFSF save approximately $200 Million each year to Ukraine’s treasury (which was being remitted to russia for holding Ukraine’s fuel), but it also removes Ukraine’s strategic dependence on the russians that dates back to the country’s independence. Today, Ukraine is entirely self-sufficient in the strategically crucial area of storage and management of the used nuclear fuel discharged by its reactors eliminating a critical constraint in the continued generation of electricity by the nation’s nine reactors. [Six reactors at Zaporizhzhia continue to be under siege by russia].
The joint cooperative efforts of Energoatom and Holtec International have deployed state-of-the-art storage and transport systems for its russian-origin (VVER) nuclear fuel which are characterized by an extreme resistance to malevolent human action and proven defense-in-depth features against accidents and mishaps. Some of the major equipment types being used by Ukraine include the HI-STORM 190 vertical ventilated storage system, the HI-STAR 190 Universal Transport Cask, the HI-TRAC 190 Transfer Cask, and an array of ancillary equipment to load, dehydrate, and weld the double wall Multiple Purpose Canisters at each operating plant site. The dried and welded Double Wall Canisters have been safely transported in the HI-STAR 190 transport cask to the Central Storage Facility and placed in the HI-STORM 190 vertical ventilated systems for environmentally safe-storage. The high-capacity Double Wall Multi-Purpose Canisters and industry’s most heavily shielded transport cask HI-STAR 190 have become Ukraine’s workhorse to transport the country’s used fuel from its nine reactors to the nation’s consolidated interim storage facility. Although the Design Life of CSFSF is 100 years, their Service Life is expected to be many times longer.
While the manufacturing of most major capital equipment for the CSFSF occurred in Holtec’s United States plants, the Company’s European contractors from Estonia, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands also supplied important components and systems to the project.
Speaking at the CSFSF, the Honorable Petro Kotin, President, Energoatom, hailed the new storage facility, stating, “Safe, secure, and reliable operations of the Central Spent Fuel Storage Facility are critically important for Ukraine’s nuclear energy industry to ensure continued supply of electricity to our citizens during the ongoing unjust war waged by russia against our peaceful country. The successful operation of this vital Facility is not only saving Ukraine annually $200 Million which Energoatom would have had to spend on paying for the transportation and storage of spent fuel to russia, but it has achieved one of the most important objectives in advancing our nation’s energy independence. Currently, the CSFSF operates successfully and fulfills its function at 100 percent capacity. Meanwhile, the cost savings for the export and storage of spent fuel from domestic nuclear power plants this year alone have already fully covered the costs for the Facility’s construction.”
President Kotin also conveyed Energy Minister, the Honorable German Galushchenko’s, sentiments to the audience during his visit to the CSFSF which he expressed in his meeting with Holtec’s Dr. Kris Singh in Washington, DC. Said Minister Galushchenko, “We have put an end to the russian monopoly on the used nuclear fuel market. We have a unique Centralized Spent Fuel Storage Facility, and we plan to build a manufacturing plant for the production of containers for storage of used nuclear fuel in our country. With such professional partners as Holtec International, the revival of Ukrainian nuclear industry is not just a goal but a reality for us. We are grateful to our Holtec partners for their belief in the importance of nuclear energy for the sustainable future and success of Ukraine.“
“Approximately two decades ago, Ukraine began its long quest to establish a supremely safe consolidated interim storage facility to take full control of its used nuclear fuel. That journey has finally come to fruition as the country’s National Nuclear Operator, Energoatom, has successfully moved the used fuel from its operating reactors to the Central Spent Fuel Storage Facility. Ukraine’s ability to control and safely manage its used fuel on its own territory is both a matter of financial prudence and a huge strategic success for the country especially in light of the ongoing vicious and unjust russian aggression. The successful transport and storage of spent nuclear fuel by Energoatom from its operating nuclear reactors to the Central Spent Fuel Storage Facility is a fitting symbol of Ukraine’s resolve to achieve complete operational independence in regard to management of its spent fuel discharged by the country’s fleet of reactors and provide a safe and economic solution for long-term management of used nuclear fuel at its domestic centralized storage facility. This facility now has made Ukraine an international leader in consolidated storage of spent nuclear fuel. Holtec International also has the distinct honor and privilege to work with Energoatom for deployment of our SMR-300 Advanced Nuclear Reactors in Ukraine in this decade,” stated Holtec’s President and CEO Dr. Kris Singh.
Energoatom and Holtec have also agreed in principle to establish a state of-the-art manufacturing facility for localizing the production of equipment for the Holtec SMRs, spent nuclear fuel storage and transport systems, and other nuclear energy related needs of Ukraine. To advance this objective, it is envisioned to establish a Joint Venture between Energoatom and Holtec for a Ukrainian manufacturing facility and technology center that will serve as the vehicle to infuse the latest manufacturing technology in Ukraine. More specifically, this facility would host an engineering/design center, space for material storage, component manufacturing, assembly, and testing, as well as training facilities, including an SMR simulator. The facility is expected to create thousands of skilled jobs for Ukrainian workers who will build all required SMR-300 nuclear units of Holtec’s design to meet Ukraine’s growing clean energy needs in addition to the fuel storage and transport equipment to serve the nation’s existing nuclear plants.”
Mr. Kotin, a strong enthusiast of the manufacturing plant, in his own words,” The introduction of advanced technologies and the construction of Holtec state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Ukraine will be of great importance for the post-war economic recovery of our country. Ukraine always strives extremely hard to demonstrate its innovative leadership in clean energy through advanced technologies, by implementing concrete actions towards energy independence and diversification to ensure reliable supply of energy for its citizens. We must use advanced and unconditionally safe nuclear technologies as our nuclear energy sector generates more than 55% of the country’s electricity. This joint collaboration with Holtec provides a great opportunity for Ukraine to become a leader in the field of Global Nuclear Energy.”
“We think that Ukraine has demonstrated its capability to build and commission a substantial nuclear facility in spite of the continuous barrage of russian missiles raining on the country. Therefore, the reconstruction of Ukraine can begin without waiting for the end of hostilities. Providing Ukraine with Russia’s frozen reserve so that the country can begin rebuilding should be seriously considered by our policy makers. The successful operation of the CSFSF has also demonstrated Ukraine’s strong business nexus with several nations of the European Union (EU). We think the new nuclear manufacturing plant and its supply chain will help to further integrate Ukraine’s economy with the EU, United Kingdom, and the United States strengthening the country’s economic ties with the EU and justifying fast tracking Ukraine to become a valued member of the Union. In our experience, Ukraine’s nuclear sector already meets the metrics of business transparency and corporate ethics required under EU’s rules for accession,” says Holtec’s President and CEO, Dr. Kris Singh.