1 Feb 2024 17:00

Nuclear regulators of Ukraine and Canada begin cooperation on uranium facilities safety

MOSCOW. Feb 1 (Interfax) - The State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine (SNRIU) and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission held a foundational meeting as part of their cooperation on the safe operation of uranium facilities. The meeting took place on January 25, having been preceded by the parties signing a memorandum of cooperation in August 2023, Ukrainian media reported citing SNRIU.

Following the meeting, representatives of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission confirmed their interest in exchanging information on the experience of regulating the safety of uranium facilities in Ukraine and their readiness to provide support to the Ukrainian regulator in improving the system for regulating the safety of uranium facilities and uranium legacy sites, the statement said.

"These results indicate the start of successful cooperation between the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and Ukraine's State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate to maintain and improve the level of radiation safety of uranium ore mining and processing activities conducted in Ukraine," the agency said.

Previously, during implementation of the provisions of the memorandum, both sides identified priority areas of cooperation.

Among them: the exchange of information and experience in matters of safety regulation during the preparation and decommissioning of uranium mining and processing facilities and temporary storage facilities, the construction of storage facilities for the disposal of processing waste, the mining of uranium ores, as well as the remediation of sites after decommissioning of uranium facilities and nuclear legacy sites.

Ukrainian-Canadian cooperation in the nuclear sector is also conducted through the supply of uranium and nuclear fuel. Energoatom, the operator of Ukraine's nuclear power plants, and Canadian Uranium trading company 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 UF6 requirements of Rivne, Khmelnytsky and South Ukrainian nuclear power plants from 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 at VostokGOK. CAMECO will provide uranium conversion for Energoatom.

In April 2023, Energoatom and CAMECO signed an agreement regulating the physical supply of uranium concentrate going 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 supplied uranium oxide concentrate for the production of nuclear fuel for Ukrainian nuclear power plants in 2019 and 2021.