Westinghouse signs expanded Ukraine nuclear fuel deal

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Westinghouse Electric Corp. is pictured at the World Nuclear Exhibition (WNE), the trade fair event for the global nuclear community in Villepinte near Paris, France, June 26, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

KYIV (Reuters) - Westinghouse Electric Co has signed an expanded nuclear fuel deal to supply Ukraine’s reactors, the company said on Wednesday.

It currently supplies six of 15 Ukraine’s VVER-1000 reactors with a seventh due to switch to it next year.

The new contract, signed with the National Nuclear Energy Generating Company Energoatom, adds two VVER-440 reactors at the Rivne nuclear power plant.

The parties also signed a letter of intent regarding exploring localising fuel assembly component production.

“With this major agreement, we extend further our commitment to Ukraine’s energy security and focus on further improving the operational excellence of its nuclear fleet,” Westinghouse CEO Patrick Fragman said.

Kyiv wants to wean Ukraine off its traditional dependence on Russian energy supplies, including nuclear fuel.

Relations between Ukraine and Russia plunged after Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Formerly owned by Japan's Toshiba Corp 6502.T, Westinghouse was bought by a unit of Toronto-headquartered Brookfield Asset Management BAMa.TO, Brookfield Business Partners BBU_u.TO, in 2018.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; editing by Jason Neely