Westinghouse And Fortum Signed Partnership For VVER-440 Nuclear Fuel

Westinghouse Electric Company (ENS Corporate Member) and Fortum recently signed a long-term partnership to develop, license and deliver VVER-440 fuel to the Loviisa Nuclear Power Plant in Finland to guarantee a dependable Western alternative to Russian-supplied fuel.

The new and parallel fuel supplier will diversify our fuel strategy, improve security of supply and ensure reliable electricity production at the Loviisa power plant also in the future

Sasu Valkamo, Vice President, Loviisa NPP said.

Westinghouse supplies restart the previous, successful collaboration, when nearly 750 VVER-440 fuel assemblies were delivered to the Loviisa NPP between 2002 and 2007, in collaboration with ENUSA (ENS Corporate Member)

The Loviisa NPP has two VVER pressurized water reactors (PWR) that cover about 13% of Finland’s electricity production.

The amount of electricity generated there is nearly equivalent to the total combined electricity consumption of the biggest Finnish cities, Helsinki, Espoo, and Vantaa.

Westinghouse Press Release.

The importance of the diversification of nuclear fuel suppliers has been often underlined by the Euratom Supply Agency (ENS member) which reminded that diversification is paramount to prevent excessive dependence of EU users on any single third-country supplier and to achieve security of supply of nuclear fuels in the medium and long term.

According to ESA, around 10% of EU gross nuclear electricity capacity is fully dependent on supply of Russian fuel. These concern operators in BulgariaCzech RepublicHungary and Slovakia and one operator (out of two) in Finland.

While an alternative fuel design for Russian-made VVER-1000 reactors already exists and is employed (e.g. in Ukraine, Czech Republic, Bulgaria), the VVER-440 reactors are fully dependent on Russian fuel assemblies at the moment. The concerned utilities have fresh fuel in their stock and could operate for 1-2 years.

Westinghouse and ENUSA have recently renewed their intent to collaborate on VVER-440 fuel fabrication.

ENS, together with Euratom Supply Agency, focused on nuclear fuel supply chains and production in Europe in the article “Eastern Europe And The Future Of Nuclear Fuel Supply” and in the interview with Euratom Supply Agency Director General, Agnieszka Kazmierczak.