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You're reading: End the monopoly

Ukraine, afraid to anger its former ruler and monopoly supplier of nuclear fuel and gas, instead of standing up for the company helping to ease its dependence on Russia, is again bowing to its bully to the northeast.

The trouble began when Ukraine’s State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate in 2012 said it found Westinghouse nuclear fuel assemblies in three reactors here to be faulty, a claim the American company disputes. The real problem, it says, are the fuel assemblies of the Russian state-owned nuclear power company TVEL, which according to Westinghouse bend and sway when placed in the reactors so much that they’re damaging the American assemblies around them. 

Many experts – including at least one from a Ukrainian government-funded think tank – say TVEL’s fuel simply doesn’t compare to the quality of the American-made fuel and that in 21 cases last year alone the Russian assemblies even leaked radiation.

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