Ukraine lifts ban on nuclear fuel transportation

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March 6, 2014, 8 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukraine has lifted its ban on the transportation of nuclear fuel, according to a letter from the Ukrainian State Inspectorate for Nuclear Regulation

 Ukraine has lifted its ban on the transportation of nuclear fuel, according to a letter from the Ukrainian State Inspectorate for Nuclear Regulation, a copy of which was made available to Interfax.

 The regulator has lifted the ban on the transportation of nuclear and other radioactive materials through Ukraine, according to the document signed on March 6 by First Deputy Head of the State Inspectorate for Nuclear Regulation of Ukraine Mykhailo Hashev.

The ban was introduced in late January. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said a day earlier that Ukraine has enough fuel for March-April. "Ukrainian NPPs (nuclear power plans) are stocked up with fuel for March and April. So far there is a ban on this sort of fuel movement because of the unstable situation in the country," he said. "We have problems sending nuclear fuel via Ukraine to our partners in east Europe, and there are issues associated with fuel supplies to Ukraine's nuclear power plants," Rogozin said.

Our TVEL company can solve the problem of rail transit through Ukraine by transporting the fuel by air, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said.

"Rosatom's fuel company TVEL will honor all its obligations to supply nuclear fuel to the foreign NPPs. To this end we can use an alternative licensed delivery method: by air transport. In particular, for an NPP in Slovakia we are planning to deliver nuclear fuel by air as early as next week," the state corporation said.

"We continue working as usual with all our foreign partners, they understand the change of the itinerary," Rosatom said.

The state corporation does not envisage any restrictions in unloading nuclear fuel to Ukraine because it has received the down payment, a Rosatom source told Interfax. "We do not see any obstacles in supplying nuclear fuel to Ukraine because TVEL has already received pre-payments for the next four shipments. If the Ukrainian watchdog lifts restrictions on the rail transportation in time for the next delivery (late March - early April), it will proceed as usual; if the restrictions remain in place, then an alternative scheme will be used," the source said.

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