Westinghouse Electric Company announced the expansion of its Nuclear Fuel Factory, situated in Vsters, Sweden, in response to growing demand for nuclear fuel supply diversification for VVER-1000 reactors in Europe. The investment finances additional production facilities, fuel engineering work, as well as the procurement of additional process and assembly equipment for manufacturing the fuel. The new facilities were officially inaugurated by Jos Emeterio Gutirrez, Westinghouse senior vice president for Nuclear Fuel and Components Manufacturing today in the presence of representatives from the Vsters Municipality, local business community and the Ukrainian Embassy to the Kingdom of Sweden.
In 2016 Westinghouse will deliver five reloads to the South Ukraine and Zaporizhia nuclear power plants. Fifty-six percent of Ukraine electricity production relies on VVER-1000 nuclear power plants. In December 2014 Westinghouse and EnergoAtom, Ukraine's nuclear power plant operator, completed a fuel supply contract extension for its VVER-1000 reactors. Numerous inspections in Ukraine have demonstrated that Westinghouse fuel performs safely and efficiently and to specification in EnergoAtoms reactors.
The Vsters fuel factory expansion demonstrates our commitment to nuclear energy and security of supply. The growing demand for nuclear fuel underscores the importance of uninterrupted availability of low-carbon energy sources at an affordable price, said Jos Emeterio Gutirrez, Westinghouses increased VVER-1000 fuel production capability at our Vsters facility will enhance security of supply for our customers. Westinghouse takes pride in being the only vendor able to provide fuel to almost all types of reactors around the globe.
The expansion of the Vsters fuel factory reaffirms that the nuclear industry is strong and healthy in Europe, said Aziz Dag, Westinghouse vice president and managing director, Northern and Eastern Europe. We are also strengthening Europes role as an energy and energy technology exporter, benefitting the Vsters local and regional communities and economy, he added.
Over 60 percent of the 131 nuclear power plants operating in the European Union (EU) are based on Westinghouse technology (U.S. or European in design). Five countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary and Slovakia) operate VVER-design reactors (four VVER-1000 and 14 VVER-440 type reactors), which provide up to 52 percent of total electricity in the country. The five countries are currently 100 percent dependent on fuel supply from a single provider.
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