Ukraine’s experience has shown that reactors at Soviet-designed nuclear power plants can successfully operate on nuclear fuel from alternative suppliers. Over 24 years of operation at Ukrainian NPPs, American assemblies have proven their efficiency and safety. 

The pro-Kremlin media continue to actively spread disinformation about the «coming nuclear disaster at European nuclear power plants.» This is how the Russian media react to the steps taken by European countries to stop buying Russian nuclear fuel for their nuclear power plants and switch to assemblies from alternative Western suppliers. Russian media write that the «experiments of the Americans and the French» with European nuclear power allegedly will not end well. «As in the case of Ukraine, which is forcibly abandoning Russian fuel in favor of American fuel, [the EU will] face unpredictable consequences,» the Russian media predicted.

Nuclear power plants in Ukraine and a number of European Union countries were built during or immediately after the Soviet occupation, and therefore were designed exclusively for Russian maintenance. Currently, 17 VVER-440 units (Soviet-designed water-water power reactors) are operating in Europe, and they had no alternative to Russian fuel. That is why for a long time Ukrainian and European NPPs operated exclusively on Russian nuclear fuel. 

In the 2000s, Ukraine was one of the first countries to take measures to diversify its supplies by choosing an alternative supplier, Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB, which caused a wave of criticism from Russia. In 2014, Ukraine began actively introducing advanced Western technologies, modernizing its nuclear power plants and converting power units to alternative nuclear fuel. After Russia’s large-scale invasion, Ukraine finally completely abandoned Russian nuclear fuel. Currently, Ukrainian NPPs are fully powered by American assemblies and Ukrainian components made using Westinghouse technology. Over the 24 years of operation at Ukrainian NPPs, American assemblies have proven their efficiency and safety. 

Ukraine went further and began to produce its own nuclear fuel. On April 11, 2023, the national operator Energoatom signed an agreement with the Canadian company Cameco, which was the last stage in the implementation of the program to use Ukrainian uranium in the production of nuclear fuel for Ukrainian NPPs. The agreement provides for the supply of the entire volume of extracted Ukrainian uranium for processing to Canada, which completely closes the issue of Ukraine’s longstanding dependence on Russian nuclear fuel.

The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Finland, Bulgaria, and other European countries are also interested in diversifying Russian nuclear fuel. In the future, Ukraine, along with other companies, may become a supplier of nuclear fuel to these countries, as the country has a successful and safe experience of switching from Russian fuel to Western assemblies.
In the context of Ukraine’s abandonment of the monopoly on fuel supplies from Russia, despite the confirmed facts of safe operation of Ukrainian NPPs using American assemblies, propaganda still continues to promote fakes about nuclear safety in Ukraine, and now in the EU. Read more on this topic in StopFake’s pieces Fake: Westinghouse Contract will Turn Ukraine into a Radioactive Zone and Manipulation: Ukraine is Destroying Its Energy Security by «Giving» All Uranium to Canada.