Ukraine contracts for nuclear fuel

Thursday, April 3, 2008

KIEV, Ukraine, March 31 (UPI) -- Utility giant Westinghouse Electric Co. signed a contract Monday to supply Ukraine's nuclear power plants with fuel from 2011-15, the company said.

Ukraine relies heavily on natural gas supplies from Russia, RIA Novosti reported. As such, in January 2006, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko announced plans to initiate nuclear fuel production in the country.

This winter, Russia's energy company Gazprom announced it would cut back on supplies to Ukraine until disputes over back payments were settled. The incident lasted less than a week but highlighted Ukraine's vulnerability to foreign energy supplies, Novosti reported.

"This contract represents a major commitment from both Westinghouse and Ukraine in ensuring that alternative and competitive nuclear fuel supplies are available to the benefit of Ukraine's nuclear energy provider and, ultimately, its citizens," Westinghouse said in a release.

Westinghouse, with headquarters in Monroeville, Pa., signed the contract with Ukraine's nuclear power utility Energoatom, the report said.

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