15 Sep 2023 17:34

Ukraine's Energoatom sends first batch of uranium concentrate to Canada for conversion

MOSCOW. Sept 15 (Interfax) - Ukrainian nuclear power plants operator Energoatom has sent the Canada's Cameco a first batch of uranium concentrate produced by the VostGOK state enterprise, which will be used to produce nuclear fuel for Ukrainian nuclear power plants, Ukrainian media quoted the Energoatom press office as saying.

Special transport with uranium is currently on the move in Europe.

The agreement with Cameco provides for the supply of the entire volume of uranium mined at VostGOK to Canada and its subsequent conversion into natural uranium hexafluoride (UF6).

"Such a process is necessary to prepare for sending it for enrichment to our other strategic partners - Urenco in the UK, and then to Westinghouse for the production of nuclear fuel. These processes for processing nuclear material are not yet available in Ukraine. But we are working to create the appropriate capacities," Energoatom President Pyotr Kotin was quoted as saying.

Energoatom and Cameco signed a memorandum of understanding in the nuclear energy sector in 2019. In March 2023, the parties signed agreements on the use of Ukrainian uranium in the production of nuclear fuel for all Ukrainian nuclear power plants.

According to the agreements, Cameco will cover the needs of Rovno, Khmelnitsky and Southern Ukrainian nuclear power plants for UF6 during 2024-2035, which will be supplied for enrichment and further use in the production of nuclear fuel.

The second agreement provides for the sale by Energoatom to Canada of uranium concentrate mined in Ukraine at VostGOK. Its uranium conversion will be provided by Cameco for the needs of Energoatom.

Energoatom and Cameco in April 2023 signed an agreement regulating the physical supply of uranium concentrate from Ukraine to Canada. The companies also signed a memorandum on the development of the uranium mining industry in Ukraine with the support of Canadian partners.

Cameco has already supplied uranium oxide concentrate for the production of nuclear fuel for the needs of Ukrainian nuclear power plants in 2019 and 2021.