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Belarus may buy nuclear fuel outside Russia

MINSK, 29 August (BelTA) – Belarus may potentially buy nuclear fuel from sources other than Russian suppliers, Deputy Energy Minister of Belarus Mikhail Mikhadyuk told BelTA at the online conference hosted by the BelTA website on 29 August.

He remarked that in accordance with the present agreements the Russian side has to supply nuclear fuel as fuel rod arrays. Those are required for the initial load and consequent reloads of the energy units of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.

Speaking about who else can supply fuel for the Belarusian nuclear power plant if necessary, the official said that at present the US company Westinghouse Electric operates on the market of fuel for energy units that employ Mark 1000 water-cooled power reactors. The company started supplying fuel rod arrays to Ukraine in 2011. In line with the contract the company will deliver about 630 fuel rod arrays in 2011-2015 for the sake of step-by-step replacement of Russian fuel in at least three energy units that use Mark 1000 water-cooled power reactors. In the future Ukraine intends to start manufacturing nuclear fuel of its own, said Mikhail Mikhadyuk.

Thus, the potential ability to buy fuel from other suppliers is there, said the official.