cables, Holtec, IHI, India, Japan, Kris Singh, nuclear energy, nuclear power, nuclear waste, nuclear waste facility, Rosatom, Russia, Toshiba, Ukraine, US DOE, Westinghouse
Since 2006 Westinghouse is majority owned by Toshiba. It is 90% Japan owned: Toshiba (87%) and IHI (3%) and 10% Kazakhstan state owned. Before that it belonged to the UK’s BNFL. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westinghouse_Electric_Company
Kris Singh’s Holtec was apparently founded in India before he even came to the US to graduate school. It still exists in India. He is supposed to have done his basic degree in what was apparently then a new university in India prior to going to America.
Both of these companies are “based” in the US or have bases there. Whether or not they are “American” depends on your definition of an American company.
For whatever reasons the US DOE appears to want to push the Westinghouse-Toshiba agenda in the Ukraine.
One must wonder if the personality and/or regulation conflicts mentioned below have to do with the Ukraine’s unwillingness to accept bribes? After all, Holtec was involved in a bribery or kickback scheme with the US’ TVA and fined and (very) temporarily debarred in 2010:
Or, perhaps Russia paid better bribes?
“Date:2009 October 22, 14:22 (Thursday) Canonical ID:09KYIV1837_a
Original Classification:UNCLASSIFIED,FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Current Classification:UNCLASSIFIED,FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Handling Restrictions– Not Assigned —
Executive Order:– Not Assigned — Locator:TEXT ONLINE
TAGS:ECON – Economic Affairs–Economic Conditions, Trends and Potential | EFIN – Economic Affairs–Financial and Monetary Affairs | ENRG – Economic Affairs–Energy and Power | EREL | PGOV – Political Affairs–Government; Internal Governmental Affairs | PREL – Political Affairs–External Political Relations | UP – Ukraine Concepts:– Not Assigned —
Enclosure:– Not Assigned — Type:TE – Telegram (cable)
Office Origin:– N/A or Blank —
Office Action:– N/A or Blank — Archive Status:– Not Assigned —
From:Ukraine Kyiv Markings:– Not Assigned —
To:Department of Commerce | Department of Energy | Group Destinations Commonwealth of Independent States | NATO – European Union Cooperative | Secretary of State
B. BRUSSELS 1385
KYIV 00001837 001.2 OF 002
1. (SBU) Summary: Ukraine’s energy dependence on Russia is not limited to gas. Russia provides 100% of Ukraine’s
nuclear fuel and stores 60% of its spent fuel, while
Ukraine’s nuclear sector generates approximately half of the
country’s electricity. U.S. Department of Energy (DoE)
assistance totaling $380 million has helped Ukraine boost the
operational capacity of its reactors by ten percent,
significantly improve safety, reduce reportable events, and
develop the ability to diversify its nuclear fuel supply.
2. (SBU) American firms Westinghouse and Holtec have projects in progress that would diversify Ukraine’s nuclear fuel supply and store spent fuel domestically, although both have found their work stymied by Ukraine’s difficult regulatory
environment and GOU hesitation. Nonetheless, we are seeing limited progress. Ukraine recently announced that it would hold a tender for the construction of a nuclear fuel assembly plant and the Cabinet of Ministers has approved key
legislation needed for Holtec’s central spent fuel storage
project. The GOU’s actions in the nuclear sector, however,
seem to be limited by an attempt not to provoke Russia, which
is trying to maintain its dominance in the nuclear sector.
Nuclear Fuel Qualification Project
3. (SBU) Since 1998, DoE has worked with Ukraine to develop
capacity in Ukraine to diversify its supply of nuclear fuel.
Through the Ukraine Nuclear Fuel Qualification Project
(UNFQP), DoE has provided Ukraine with technology transfer,
fuel monitoring systems, and training for Ukraine’s leading
nuclear experts. DoE support also led to the creation of the
Center for Reactor Core Design at the Kharkiv Institute of
Physics and Technology.
4. (SBU) The UNFQP works with Westinghouse to develop an
alternative supply of nuclear fuel for Ukraine. Six
Westinghouse nuclear fuel assemblies (lead test assemblies)
were installed in the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant (NPP)
in 2005 and are now nearing the end of the qualification
process. As a result of this positive testing, Westinghouse
was able to sign a contract with the GOU in March 2008
allowing it to supply nuclear fuel to the three units at
South Ukraine NPP. Westinghouse has already delivered 42
fuel assemblies, which are to be loaded into one of the three
units at the South Ukraine NPP in the first quarter of 2010.
The successful licensing and loading of this “reload batch”
of fuel assemblies would mark a major milestone for the UNFQP.
5. (SBU) Despite positive early developments, personality conflicts between the State Nuclear Regulatory Commission of Ukraine (SNRCU), the Center for Reactor Core Design, and Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear company Energoatom, have caused delays in licensing the reload batch of Westinghouse fuel assemblies. These delays are threatening the success of the Nuclear Fuel Qualification Project and the commercial viability of Westinghouse to provide an alternative nuclear fuel supply (Ref A).
Nuclear Fuel Assembly Plant
6. (SBU) In response to a GOU request, in October 2008
Westinghouse offered to cooperate in the area of technology
transfer and construction of a nuclear fuel assembly plant in
Ukraine. Westinghouse’s offer does not provide Ukraine with
all of the components to establish a complete domestic
nuclear fuel cycle. It does address, however, critical
energy security issues in an economical and feasible manner.
Russia’s TVEL has also proposed to build a fuel assembly
plant in Ukraine. Some GOU officials view TVEL’s proposal favorably because it includes more manufacturing of fuel assembly inputs in Ukraine than Westinghouse’s proposal.
7. (SBU) Prime Minister Tymoshenko and other GOU officials
have been reluctant to award Westinghouse with a contract for
the fuel assembly plant. In a July 9 meeting with
Westinghouse and Holtec representatives, PM Tymoshenko
explained that Ukraine could not sign an agreement with
Westinghouse on the construction of the facility at this time
because Russia could leverage Ukraine’s dependence on Russian
nuclear fuel supplies or gas to retaliate. In an apparently
KYIV 00001837 002.2 OF 002
leaked memo from Russia’s Rosatom that was published in the Ukrainian weekly “Dzerkala Tyzhnya” (Ref B), the company
outlined proposed action steps to lock up the Ukrainian
nuclear power market, while forcing Westinghouse out of
Ukraine. The document contains both political and commercial
measures that could be taken by Russia to secure Ukrainian
agreement on long-term nuclear fuel contracts with Russia and
prevent the construction of a Westinghouse fuel assembly
plant. The strategy paper states that PM Tymoshenko should be told that Ukraine is responsible for delays in signing the contracts and that further delays could result in long-term nuclear fuel supply stoppages in 2011.
8. (SBU) In what looks like a marginally positive step that
could, in theory, improve the transparency of the decision
making process, Ukraine announced on October 6 that it would
conduct a tender to award the contract for the nuclear fuel
assembly plant. The tender had a very short deadline to
submit bids and was vague in the criteria for a successful
bid. Deputy Minister of Fuel and Energy Sergiy Pavlusha told
us on October 20 that a working group had been formed to
evaluate bids and that the National Security and Defense
Council (NSDC) was currently reviewing the tender. It is
unclear when a final decision on the tender will be made.
Central Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility
9. (SBU) Currently, Ukraine pays approximately $100 million per year for Russia to temporarily store and reprocess spent fuel from nine of Ukraine’s 15 reactors. In 2012 Russia will begin returning Ukraine’s spent fuel and waste, per the terms of the storage agreement, to Ukrainian territory. If Russia stopped taking Ukraine’s spent fuel, Ukraine would run out of the limited storage space it has at its nuclear plants within three to five years, forcing it to reduce nuclear power
generation. Therefore, it is vital for Ukraine’s long-term energy security for it to develop spent fuel storage
10. (SBU) To meet Ukraine’s needs for storing spent fuel, New
Jersey-based Holtec International signed a contract with the GoU in 2005 to build a central spent nuclear fuel storage facility. The 150 million euro facility would store fuel from nine reactors. Holtec has offered to provide 90% of its own financing to commission the facility. Since signing the contract, Holtec’s work has been limited by various Ukrainian regulations. Following the July 9 meeting with PM Tymoshenko, however, the Cabinet of Ministers did act to approve draft legislation that would give final approval to the design and construction of the facility; the legislation has been forwarded to Ukraine’s parliament for its approval.
11. (SBU) Comment: Although it is in Ukraine’s interests to
cooperate with the U.S. in the areas of nuclear fuel supply
and storage of waste, Russia’s dominance is making it
difficult for our cooperative efforts to move forward. It is
possible that some of the bureaucratic delays that have
hindered progress on Westinghouse’s and Holtec’s projects are
the results of Russian influence in the process. Ukraine’s
nuclear sector dependence on Russia is only part of the
larger Russian energy dependence equation. Russia will
continue to use its leverage in other energy sectors, namely
gas, in its effort to maintain its grip on this key segment
of Ukraine’s economy. End comment.
References to this document in other cables References in this document to other cables
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