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U.S. Commits $14 million to U.S. - Ukraine Nuclear Fuel Qualification Project

March 15, 2007 - 10:55am

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KYIV, Ukraine - U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Clay Sell today announced that the United States will invest $14 million to provide 42 nuclear fuel assemblies to the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant under the U.S.-Ukraine Nuclear Fuel Qualification Project (UNFQP).   In an agreement reached last week, Westinghouse Electric Company will manufacture nuclear fuel assemblies, which account for one-fourth of the fuel that powers a reactor for up to four years of operation.  Deputy Secretary Sell is in Kyiv today to meet with top Ukrainian officials and U.S. business leaders to promote diversity of energy sources, greater energy efficiency, and adherence to open and transparent market principles.

"The United States and Ukraine are advancing energy security through cooperation in projects like the U.S. - Ukraine Nuclear Fuel Qualification Project that encourage the diversity of energy supplies and suppliers," Deputy Secretary Sell said.  "To ensure a path of economic growth, we must promote policies that encourage open and transparent market principles, increase energy efficiency, and further cooperation in nuclear non-proliferation."

Ukraine has committed to procure approximately $42 million of low enriched uranium, which will be used to manufacture the fuel assemblies and fund technical services, for the UNFQP project.  The Westinghouse Electric Company fuel assemblies will be demonstrated to qualify as an alternate nuclear fuel source in Ukraine.   The U.S. government has invested $52 million since 2000 to manufacture fuel assemblies and implement training programs to advance UNFQP.  The UNFQP is part of DOE's International Nuclear Safety Program, managed by DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which, for over a decade, has provided technical assistance and technology transfer to former Soviet Union countries to improve the safety of their reactors.

While in Kyiv, Deputy Secretary Sell met with the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister for Fuel and Energy Adriv Kluyev, Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister Konstantine Hryshchenko, and National Security Defense Council Secretary Vitaliy Haiduk.  During these meetings, Deputy Secretary Sell discussed the importance of promoting sound energy policies that encourage domestic and foreign investment and building on open and transparent market principles.  They also discussed making more efficient use of current resources by improving energy efficient technologies and practices.   Deputy Secretary Sell highlighted the U.S. - Ukraine partnership in the global war on terror and the countries' cooperation in nuclear non-proliferation efforts. Deputy Secretary Sell also met with U.S. industry representatives where he discussed opportunities for investment and use of new and emerging technology in Ukraine's energy sector.

Deputy Secretary Sell arrived in Ukraine after visiting Russia where he participated in the U.S. Russia Energy Working Group, met with senior Russian officials, and delivered remarks at the Carnegie Moscow Center.  Deputy Secretary Sell will travel on Friday to Georgia where he is expected to meet with senior Georgian officials.

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens, (202) 586-4940

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