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Consortium established for SMR-160 deployment in Ukraine

Updated: 2019-06-13

Holtec International, Ukraine's Energoatom and the country's State Scientific and Technology Centre (SSTC) have formally entered into a partnership to advance the US company's SMR-160 small modular reactor for deployment in Ukraine.


The signing of the consortium document by Holtec CEO Kris Singh (left) and Energoatom President Yury Nedashkovsky (Image: Holtec)

On 10 June, Ukraine's national nuclear operator Energoatom, the SSTC and Holtec International ratified the creation of a consortium partnership that binds the three companies into a cooperative undertaking to progress the deployment of the SMR-160 small modular reactor in the country.

The consortium document was signed by Holtec CEO Kris Singh, Energoatom President Yury Nedashkovsky and SSTC President Igor Shevchenko. The signing ceremony - held at Holtec's headquarters in Camden, New Jersey - was attended by senior Holtec officials and delegations from Mitsubishi Electric, the US Department of Energy and Energoatom.

The consortium is a US company registered in Delaware with each of the three parties owning allotted shares. Its technology operation centre will be based in Kiev, Ukraine.

"This consortium will give fresh impetus to realise the objectives of the MoU signed by Energoatom and Holtec last year that envisages building of six SMR-160s at the country's Rovno nuclear station site," Holtec said.

In March 2018, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Holtec and Energoatom envisaging the adoption by Ukraine of Holtec's SMR technology with the country becoming a manufacturing hub for SMR-160 reactor components. The MoU includes the licensing and construction of SMR-160 reactors in Ukraine, as well as the partial localisation of SMR-160 components. The Ukrainian manufacturing hub is to mirror the capabilities of Holtec's Advanced Manufacturing Plant in Camden, and will be one of four manufacturing plants Holtec plans to build at distributed sites around the world by the mid-2020s.

Holtec's 160 MWe factory-built SMR uses low-enriched uranium fuel. The reactor's core and all nuclear steam supply system components would be located underground, and the design incorporates a wealth of features including a passive cooling system that would be able to operate indefinitely after shutdown. No active components, such as pumps, are needed to run the reactor, which does not need any on-site or off-site power to shut down and to dissipate decay heat. The SMR-160 is planned for operation by 2026.

The SMR-160 is currently undergoing the first phase of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission's three-phase pre-licensing vendor design review process. State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate of Ukraine, the nuclear regulatory authority in Ukraine, is expected to coordinate its regulatory assessment of SMR-160 under a collaborative arrangement with its Canadian counterpart.