Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom and US energy company Holtec have signed an agreement for the creation of manufacturing capabilities for components for SMRs and transportation systems for used nuclear fuel.

The agreement is designed to accelerate the deployment of Holtec’s SMRs in Ukraine and “support unimpeded reactor operations through a successfully deployed used fuel storage facility”.

Ukraine’s energy minister Herman Halushchenko, who was present at the signing of the agreement between Energoatom’s acting chairman Petro Kotin and Holtec’s CEO Chris Singh, said: “It is very important that we sign this document at such a turbulent time, demonstrating to the enemy [Russia] our stability and determination to deepen the Ukrainian-American partnership and develop the future of Ukrainian energy using leading technologies.”

Holtec has been developing SMRs since 2011 and established links with Ukraine in April 2023 when it signed an agreement with Energoatom to deploy 20 of its SMR-160 units in the eastern European country. In November, the two entities also announced that they were planning to build a plant in Ukraine to produce containers, which are currently made in the US, for storage of used nuclear fuel.

Kotin said: “This agreement is important not only for Energoatom, but also for the entire energy industry of Ukraine and the national economy.

“The creation of nuclear energy production facilities in the country will contribute not only to the strengthening of the country’s energy security, this Master Agreement will lead to a modern manufacturing and training facility, which will spur economic development and create well-paying jobs.”

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Marking further consolidation in the nuclear power relationship between the US and Ukraine, on Monday Westinghouse Electric Company began the construction of a AP1000 reactor in Western Ukraine, the first of its kind in the country, where all existing reactors are Soviet-era water-water energetic models.

At the beginning of this year, Ukrainian officials announced plans to build at least four new nuclear power reactors by autumn to replace power capacity lost during the war with Russia.