Westinghouse: Fuel units pass inspection for Ukraine plant

Westinghouse Electric Co. said on Thursday that 42 of its fuel assemblies will be loaded into Unit 3 at the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant after two weeks of ongoing performance inspections.

The fuel assemblies have been the recent subject of criticism from Russia, which alleged imported fuel assemblies could put the plant and its personnel at risk.

"Of particular concern is the fact that all of this is happening against the backdrop of an unstable situation in Ukraine, in an environment where political engagement takes precedence over the requirements of nuclear safety, and the country's ability to respond to emergencies is severely limited," Russia's foreign ministry said in December in response to the Westinghouse contract announcement.

Officials from SEAtomemonService, the State Nuclear Inspectorate of Ukraine, and Westinghouse conducted the inspection of the fuel assemblies, in which Westinghouse stated that its VVER-1000 fuel “had performed flawlessly over at least three fuel cycles following an annual inspection.”

Westinghouse, a subsidiary of Toshiba Corp., currently provides nuclear fuel to 145 plants globally, 65 of which are in Europe.

“The fuel assembly inspection in Ukraine that took from Feb. 15, 2015, through March 1 is one of several that confirms Westinghouse fuel is safe in Russian-designed nuclear plants,” Yves Brachet, president of Westinghouse Europe, Middle East and Africa, said. “The Westinghouse fuel has performed exactly to specification and has not exhibited any flaws in its operation, as expected," Brachet said.

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