Uranium & Fuel

Ukraine / Gov’t Aims To Increase Uranium Production To Fully Cover Nuclear Needs

By David Dalton
3 January 2022

Kiev to invest $334m over next five years in mining and processing
Gov’t Aims To Increase Uranium Production To Fully Cover Nuclear Needs
Ukraine has 15 commercial nuclear power plants including four at the Rovno nuclear station (pictured).
Ukraine is aiming to increase its uranium production to cover fully the needs of its nuclear power units after 2026, the government said.

Under a national programme, Ukraine will invest 9.1 billion hryvnia ($334m) over the next five years to increase uranium mining and processing facilities.

The government said production at four Ukrainian uranium deposits would total 995 tonnes in 2022 and should rise to 1,265 tonnes in 2026.

It gave no uranium output figure for 2021 but said current production meets around 40% of Ukraine’s needs for nuclear fuel. The rest comes from imports from Russia and the US.

Ukraine’s 15 commercial nuclear power plants, which according to the International Atomic Energy Agency provided about 51% of the country’s electricity production in 2020, need 2,200 to 2,400 tonnes of uranium per year, the government said.

The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) said in its 2020 “Red Book” uranium report that Ukraine produced 790 tonnes of uranium in 2018, all of it at three underground mines: Ingulska, Smolinska and Novokostyantynivska.

The NEA said that as of 2019, identified uranium resources in Ukraine recoverable at a cost of around $260/kgU were 186 896 tU. Uranium resources recoverable at $80/kgU were 72,916 tU.

Ukraine has 15 commercial nuclear power reactors with a combined installed capacity of 13.1 GW (net). The fleet produced 51.2% of the electricity generated in the country in 2020.

Ukraine has also announced ambitious plans to add about 11 GW of nuclear capacity by 2040. State nuclear operator Energoatom and US company Westinghouse recently announced an agreement for the construction of five new nuclear power units in Ukraine, including two at the existing Khmelnitski site.

The NEA said Kiev’s national energy programme foresees that nuclear energy will continue to generate about 50% of total electricity production by 2035.

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