Ukraine’s national energy company Energoatom has partnered with US-based Holtec International to build a plant in Ukraine for the production of containers for spent nuclear fuel.

The announcement followed a meeting in the US capital of Washington, DC, between Ukraine’s Minister of Energy Herman Galushchenko and Kris Singh, president and executive director of Holtec. The containers produced will be used to store spent nuclear fuel, which will then be transferred to a spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Ukraine.

Galushchenko welcomed Holtec’s help, saying: “With such professional partners as Holtec International, the revival of Ukrainian nuclear energy is not just our goal but a reality. We are grateful to our partners for their belief in the importance of nuclear energy for the sustainable future and success of Ukraine.”

Energoatom’s Chief Petro Kotin also lauded the move, adding the plant will help Ukraine save up to $200m each year on transporting and storing spent nuclear fuel in Russia.

“This was one of the most important steps in achieving our energy independence. How later and a complete rejection of Russian nuclear fuel,” he added.

News about the nuclear fuel containers plant came after Galushchenko and Singh signed an agreement of cooperation earlier this year that provides for the construction of small modular reactors (SMRs) in Ukraine. SMRs are advanced nuclear reactors with a capacity of up to 300MW(e) per unit, or one-third of the generating capacity of a regular nuclear power reactor.

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The development of small modular reactors is part of Ukraine’s transition to green energy, part of Kyiv’s Energy Strategy for 2050.

Speaking during the 8 November meeting, Singh said: “Ukraine’s potential in the field of nuclear energy is the best in the region. Our company has been and remains your reliable partner.”