The Ukrainian authorities are delaying the signing of the long-term contract for supply of nuclear fuel from Russia20 июля 2009
RIA Novosti has discussed with Vice President of TVEl OJSC Vasily Konstantinov the Russian-Ukrainian cooperation to ensure the supply of Ukrainian NPPs with nuclear fuel.
Q: As far as we know, Mr. Putin and Mrs. Timoshenko have instructed that by June 15 2009 their relevant authorities should sign a long-term contract for the supply of nuclear fuel for the Ukrainian nuclear power plants. However, no contract has been signed so far. What can you say about this?
A: Jointly with Energoatom (Ukraine), we have done big work to conclude the contract by the specified time. In Apr alone we had seven working meetings and reached agreement on all commercial and technical issues. Three weeks before the signing, TVEL agreed to the key precondition of the Ukrainian partners: the launch of a nuclear fuel production plant in the territory of Ukraine. Thus, we were ready to sign the contract as early as June 8–10. However, the Ukrainian party did not respond: Ukrainian Energoatom submitted all documents to the Cabinet of Ministers but received no answer.
So, you see that it is the Ukrainian authorities who are to blame for the delay.
Q: The mass media say that TVEL has offered different preferences and discounts under the contract and that the Ukrainian party has accepted TVEL’s offer for the construction of a nuclear fuel plant in Ukraine. Will the preferences be preserved after the signing of the contract on July 15?
A: TVEL negotiated with Energoatom with a view to continue its strategic partnership with that company. As you may know, usually long-term contracts and guarantees imply different preferences. We were ready to take part in the construction of a nuclear fuel plant and, for this purpose, to provide them with our own unique technologies. So, I can only regret that Energoatom has missed such a good contract and that the project may never become reality.
Q: TVEL and Energoatom have been negotiating for almost 1.5 years already but with no practical results. Does this mean that you may change your priorities and in 2011 Ukraine may be left without Russian fuel? Where will the Ukrainian uranium be used? When will the Ukraine-based nuclear fuel plant be put into service?
A: You are right, the negotiations are dragging on. In the meantime we have already finalized negotiating processes with India (for the supply of fuel pellets) and Slovakia (for the supply of fuel). We see no sense in continuing the talks until the Ukrainian party stops politicizing the matter. Presently, Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation and Atomenergoprom OJSC are building promising strategic alliances with Toshiba-Westinghouse, Siemens and other companies. TVEL is opening a new window of opportunities. We are intensifying our efforts to license TVS-Kvadrat, developing the component market, negotiating for building a regional plant in Europe. It is for the Ukrainian party to ensure the stable operation of its nuclear power plants and for this purpose to secure the timely supply of nuclear fuel starting from 2011.
Q: TVEL seems not to be very much concerned for what is going on in Ukraine. You must have already got used to such situations in the past years. TVEL is demonstrating the qualities of a very reliable and consistent partner. As far as we know, since last year, you have timely supplied the Ukrainians with fuel even though you have received no money for it. I think that each citizen and each manufacturing company of Ukraine must be grateful to you.
A: Our confidence is based on the high level of our cooperation with the partner and the good prospects for its enlargement.
As regards the payments, our partners must know that each fuel assembly produced in Russia is the result of the hard work of tens of thousands of professionals. Chronic non-payments break the whole chain of the nuclear fuel cycle: when we receive no money for our fuel, we are forced to obtain additional funds for its production. Today, each second lamp in Ukraine works on Russian fuel. So, the key victim of such delays will be the Ukrainian consumers. We understand this and realize our responsibility but cannot work free of charge. Uranium and uranium enrichment services are expensive. Of course, we cannot neglect the hard situation our partner is facing for the moment but Energoatom must hurry to pay its debts and to meet its contractual obligations.Вернуться ко всем новостям