SE Director: We Can Buy Fuel for Nuclear Power Plants from Several Firms

Nuclear Supervision Authority head Marta Ziakova, SE chief Branislav Strycek and Premier Eduard Heger (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 9 (TASR) – Slovakia is no longer dependent solely on Russia in terms of fuel supplies for its nuclear power plants, but it can get them from several suppliers, power utility Slovenske Elektrarne (SE) general director Branislav Strycek told a news conference following the start of work on launching operation of the third reactor of Mochovce nuclear power plant in Nitra region on Friday.

The risk of a possible lack of fuel and the forced shutdown of some reactors has thus been significantly reduced over the past six months, said Strycek.

At the moment SE has sufficient nuclear fuel stocks for more than a year of its operation and expects further supplies. “At the same time we launched an international tender for new supplies of nuclear fuel a month ago,” said Strycek. In addition to a Russian company that supplies SE with fuel today [a subsidiary of Russian Rosatom], he expects two other suppliers to arise from the tender: French company Framatome and US company Westinghouse.

When holding talks with these two alternative suppliers, SE also got in touch with other operators of the same VVER 440 type reactors in the Czech Republic, Finland and Hungary. Westinghouse should start supplying fuel for VVER 440 reactors as soon as next spring. According to Strycek, the fuel has already been developed and will be used in other nuclear power plants for now.