The world's first atomic fakecomet
Rosatom, in turn, denied receiving any letters from the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy in that period.
It would seem that one can safely ignore this “draft”, since official refutations of this information have been received. However, there remains a certain probability that not everything is so obvious here, and we may well deal with a kind of sounding by the Ukrainian side of public opinion in Ukraine with the aim of either simply clarifying the mood of the electorate or starting preparing public opinion for the possibility of such an agreement with the “aggressor”. And there are reasons for such an assumption: this question is very sensitive for Kiev, and its desire to solve the problem of providing Ukrainian NPPs with fuel assemblies of its own production is quite rational and understandable.
Little about stories and the subject matter. It is assumed that as a result of some kind of agreement Russia will complete in Ukraine, in the Kirovograd region, a plant for the production of fuel assemblies. The corresponding agreement was signed back in 2010, and it was assumed that Ukraine would become the owner of the package 50% + 1 share, and Rosatom, respectively, would receive the package in 50% minus one share. The total project cost was estimated at 462,5 million dollars. Until 70% of these funds were to be formed by loans, and the rest fell on the shoulders of Russian and Ukrainian shareholders.
However, due to the well-known events in Ukraine, the project was suspended in 2015, before the end of construction of the first stage. And the Ukrainian nuclear power plants were left without their own fuel assemblies. What, as we understand, has put Ukraine on the brink of an energy collapse (if the escalation of the conflict with Russia continues).
Without going into the particular technological process, let's say: there are few fuel-producing tube manufacturers and assemblies based on them in the world. Russian, American, French NPPs work on assemblies of their type, and they are by no means interchangeable. That is, you can’t just go to the American company Westinghouse Electric and ask to quickly replace the Russian assemblies with American ones: it’s just technically impossible. To make this happen real, Americans need to develop and launch into production an exact analogue of Russian assemblies. And this is both difficult and expensive. And it is unlikely to ever pay off, because the competition from Rosatom is great, and the financial problems of the American giant are the best evidence of this.
However, the Americans tried to offer their assembly Ukraine. And even met with the full approval of Kiev. But, alas, the obvious was confirmed: assemblies that were quickly produced “on the knee” and were suitable in terms of dimensions and other parameters were far from ideal and potentially alarming. Without many years of testing and refinement, it is still impossible to produce such things, and even our “non-brothers” are beginning to understand this little by little.
A plant in the Kirovograd region could be a fundamental solution to this problem. Having received all the equipment for the manufacture of fuel assemblies according to Russian standards, having adjusted production with all the subtleties and technological nuances, Ukraine would remain dependent only on the raw materials for uranium "tablets" and some reagents for their sintering and other technological processes. And here it is much easier to find a replacement, and it is very likely that very soon we would hear about the beginning of deliveries of uranium dioxide from the United States to the Ukrainian nuclear power plants.
Such a scenario would be, without exaggeration, a real “peremog” of the Ukrainian authorities. Yes, not without difficulties and problems, but this would be the beginning of Ukraine’s true independence from Russian nuclear fuel. And potentially we would also get a competitor in the world market for fuel for nuclear power plants. And there’s no doubt that this is exactly what happened: we know perfectly well how Ukrainian “partners” love to cross the road to our manufacturers by the example of selling military equipment and machinery.
Therefore, we will not rush. Perhaps it was an “atomic fake”, but it seems that it did not originate from scratch. And the Russian reaction to this injection can be the basis for the beginning of a more serious game, the result of which will be the loss of our influence on the Ukrainian energy sector. With all the consequences ...
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