The government will provide a £192m loan guarantee through the UK’s export credit agency to help power Ukraine’s nuclear fleet amid continued conflict with Russia.
This will bring the total of the UK’s non-military assistance to Ukraine to nearly £5bn.
UK Export Finance‘s offer will enable uranium specialist Urenco to supply Ukraine’s national nuclear company Energoatom with enrichment services – having acted as a provider to the company since 2009.
Ukraine has the second highest proportion of nuclear electricity in the world, with only France more dependent on its fleet.
The country has depended on nuclear power since Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country last February to power between 60 and 70 per cent of its supply needs on a consistent basis.
When approached for comment by City A.M. a Urenco spokesperson said: “Urenco and Energoatom regularly discuss the status of all of their reactors in Ukraine on the understanding enriched uranium used for nuclear fuel would be utilised for those reactors under Ukrainian control.”
Nine reactors at three plants have continued to generate 7.9GW of power to help meet its supply needs, although Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant was seized by the Russians last year and is not currently in operation.
The site is the largest nuclear plant in Europe, home to six reactors and 5.9GW of power generation – which is around 75 per cent larger than the upcoming Hinkley Point C in the UK.
Energy security secretary Grant Shapps travelled to the capital Kyiv this week to meet senior government ministers and energy industry figures to discuss Ukraine’s recovery and the UK’s ongoing support.
He said: “Putin has used energy as a weapon of war: the action today to support nuclear fuel deliveries will help Ukraine end their reliance on Russian supplies and bolster their energy security.”
Urenco chief executive Boris Schucht added: “Collaboration from governments, such as in the UK with this agreement, is critical to facilitate this, as well as with customers and the wider nuclear industry, and we will continue to do all we can to play a valuable role.”