Westinghouse lands in Ukraine to ink new nuclear deal via Beyond Nuclear International

By Linda Pentz Gunter

By Linda Pentz Gunter

You might think that being in the middle of a war, the last thing you would be contemplating is building more nuclear power plants. But that hasn’t stopped Energoatom, the Ukrainian state nuclear operator. 

Earlier this month, Energoatom inked a new agreement with Westinghouse of all companies, the American corporation that went bankrupt trying to build four of its AP1000 reactors in South Carolina and Georgia. The two in South Carolina were canceled mid-construction, while the pair in Georgia are years behind schedule and billions of dollars over-budget.

But like a good corporate vulture, Westinghouse has swooped into Ukraine, to grab a golden opportunity. Already the supplier of nuclear fuel to almost half of Ukraine’s reactors, the company now plans to increase that commitment to all 15, replacing Russia’s Rosatom; to establish a Westinghouse Engineering and Technical Center; and, craziest of all, build nine new AP1000 reactors there. 

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It’s not really clear what, if anything, will bring victory to Ukraine and at what price. But building more nuclear power plants there only achieves one thing: putting the people of Ukraine in even greater danger, war or not. Reactors are vulnerable to failure and they make deadly radioactive waste, lethal for tens to hundreds of thousands of years. There is nothing victorious in perpetuating that. Just utter folly.

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