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NPP "Yuzhnoukrainskaya": Kiev's strategic decision to change the supplier of nuclear fuel

The energy complex of Ukraine will include four nuclear power plants. One of the current ones is the South Ukrainian NPP.

Nuclear power plant in the energy complex

NPP is part of the South-Ukrainian energy complex. When creating the project of the complex it was envisaged that it would provide electricity to three regions of Ukraine - Mykolayiv, Kherson, Odessa, and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. In addition to the nuclear power plant, the complex includes a hydroelectric power station (hydroelectric power station) and a hydroelectric power station (a pumped storage station).

The use of three types of enterprises makes it possible to produce the most cost- effective electricity. At the time of consumption decline (mainly at night), the units of the pumped storage station operate in the pump mode, pumping water into the upper tail, and at peak times (towards evening) - in turbine mode, giving additional power to the grid. Nuclear power plants and hydroelectric power plants work in a calm mode, without peak power discharges, which is dangerous for turbines. Strongly expressed peaks of loads are characteristic precisely for this southern region of Ukraine, therefore for it the new kind of an energy complex by type of the European, successfully working was designed.

Construction of the station and technical parameters

The site, where the South-Ukrainian NPP is located, was chosen in the Mykolayiv region. In 1975, the construction of the station and the satellite city of Yuzhnoukrainsk was started. Since 1982, all three blocks of a millionaire have been started in turn. The construction of the fourth block was frozen in 1989, and the issue of its erection was no longer raised.

NPP "Yuzhnoukrainskaya" operates on VVER-1000 reactors. They were manufactured in Leningrad, at the Izhorskiye Zavody enterprise. Manufacturers of turbines, reactor plants and generators were enterprises of Leningrad and Kharkov.

At full capacity, the nuclear power plant was launched in 1989. To date, the generated capacity of nuclear power plants (almost 18 billion kw / h per year) is enough to provide 10% of the consumption of all electricity in Ukraine. For the regions of Mykolayiv, Kherson and Odessa - this is almost 96%. According to the installed capacity (3000 MW), NPP "Yuzhnoukrainskaya" - the second after Zaporozhye in Ukraine.

The situation with fuel elements (TVEL)

The source of nuclear fuel for all nuclear power plants in Ukraine (including for the NPP "Yuzhnoukrainskaya") was (and so far) fuel cells manufactured by GC "TVEL" in Russia. In them, a nuclear reaction takes place with the release of heat transferred to the heat carrier.

Since 2000, Ukraine has been trying to change the monopoly supply of Russian nuclear fuel by signing a contract with Westinghouse Electric (USA).

The site for experimental work was chosen by the South Ukrainian NPP. American fuel cassettes were installed on all three blocks of the station as a partial replacement of Russian TVEL.

In 2012, damage was found to American fuel cartridges on the third block. The operation of the elements on the first and second blocks continued.

Since 2000, Westinghouse Electric has supplied two Russian TVELs, namely, in their likeness in the US, and fuel elements for the Yuzhnoukrainskaya NPP are being manufactured.

In September 2014, after the revision of all American elements in service, the contract with Westinghouse Electric was extended to 2020.

GC "TVEL" remains the supplier of nuclear fuel for the remaining three nuclear power plants of Ukraine.

Under the Russian contract, the utilization of spent nuclear fuel is handled by the Russian Federation. Who will deal with the burial of the American assemblies, it is not clear yet how the answer to the question of who is responsible for the safety of the "mixed" installation of nuclear elements at the reactors of the Yuzhnoukrainskaya NPP is not yet answered. For reference: Czech Republic, having passed a similar way with the US on deliveries of nuclear fuel for its nuclear power plant, abandoned this idea and is working on Russian TVELs.

South-Ukrainian NPP: accident

In January 2015 (at night from the 15th to the 16th) a fire broke out spontaneously on the transformer of the nuclear power plant. The fire covered an area of 100 square meters. The cause, according to preliminary data, was the depressurization of the hull, which caused oil leakage and, as a result, a short circuit.

Fortunately, after the successful elimination of the fire, the measured radiation background was normal.

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