Stable nuclear energy will be providing about 60% of Ukraine’s energy

Nuclear energy’s share of Ukraine’s electricity mix is “rapidly approaching” 60%, President Petro Poroshenko said at a meeting of the country’s National Security and Defence Council yesterday, according to a statement on the presidential website. The president did not give a date by which the increase would be achieved.

Ukraine has 15 nuclear units in commercial operation at four sites – Khmelnitsky, Rovno, South Ukraine and Zaporozhe – which are all operated by state-owned Energoatom. The units comprise 13 VVER-1000s and two VVER-440s with a total capacity of 13,835 MWe. Ukraine receives most of its nuclear services and nuclear fuel from Russia, but is reducing this dependence by buying fuel from Westinghouse, the US-headquartered subsidiary of Japan’s Toshiba.

“I am pleased to inform [you] that we have increased the share of nuclear energy in the overall energy balance. From 47% we are rapidly approaching 60%. This is [equivalent to] millions of tons of coal that Ukraine no longer needs,” Poroshenko said.

A large share of primary energy supply in Ukraine comes from the country’s uranium and substantial coal resources. The remainder is oil and gas, mostly imported from Russia. Total electricity production in 2014 amounted to 183 TWh, with 8 TWh net exports to Europe. In 2014, 88 TWh was from nuclear, 71 TWh from coal, 13 TWh from gas, and 9 TWh from hydro. Electricity consumption was 134 TWh after transmission losses of 20 TWh due to old grid. Peak demand is about 28 GWe.

Electricity consumption in Ukraine in January 2017, taking into account losses in electricity transmission, grew by 1.8% or 263.4 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) year-on-year, to 14.913 billion kWh, the Energy and Coal Industry Ministry has told Interfax-Ukraine.

Electricity consumption, not including losses, over the period rose by 6.7% or 738.2 million kWh, to 11.793 billion kWh.

Annualized the electricity generation over 2017 would be about 180 TWh.

Work to significantly increase the efficiency and improve the operation of all types of power plants in the country “must be started immediately” as it will take two to three years, he said.

The president also mentioned cooperation with Poland and China in the “modernisation” of Ukrainian energy companies. “I have discussed attracting financing with my Polish colleagues and the opportunity of using Chinese loans with President of China Xi Jinping,” he said.

In March 2015, Energoatom, Ukrenergo and Polenergia signed a memorandum of understanding on a project to export electricity via European grids.

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