Rolls-Royce In Talks To Build Mini-Nuke Plants In Ukraine

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Dec 19, 2023 - 09:15 AM

While Germany shuttered the last of its nuclear power plants this year, like idiots, British aerospace and defense company Rolls Royce is in talks with Ukraine's largest power company to build a series of mini nuclear plants across the country - including two sites currently occupied by Russia, The Telegraph reports.

DTEK boss Maxim Timchenko is seeking to establish a partnership with Rolls to convert coal powered station to nuclear Credit: Paul Grover

Ukraine's DTEK, owned by billionaire oligarch Rinat Akhmetov, has held early-stage, and obviously ambitious, discussions with Rolls about the small modular reactors (SMRs) at sites which are currently using coal power stations. CEO Maxim Timchenko says he expects nuclear power to constitute a vital part of DTEKs future portfolio amid the rebuilding of Ukraine, as the country shifts away from fossil fuels.

SMRs under development are a new and commercially-unproven technology that wouldn't be deployed until 2030 at the earliest.

DTEK and Rolls are examining whether up to eight existing coal power station sites, two of them currently in territory occupied by Russia, could eventually be converted to house SMRs in the 2030s.

It comes as Ukraine is scrambling to deploy less centralised and more renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar farms, in the face of a targeted bombing campaign by Russia to take out grid infrastructure during the harsh winter months. -The Telegraph

DTEK began generating wind power in May at the Tyligulska wind farm, located around 60 miles from the frontline of the war. This month the company announced plans to quadruple the site's output capacity.

Timchenko went against the climate cult, saying that while renewables remain a key to boosting energy security in Ukraine - as wind turbines make for more difficult targets than large coal power plants, a large portion of Ukraine's power will need to come from 'less intermittent' sources such as nuclear.

"We are trying to find a way to install these SMRs," he told The Telegraph, adding "From our side, we have quite a big capacity of coal-fired power stations and we are in discussions with Rolls-Royce SMR to convert [them]."

Ukraine is already heavily reliant on nuclear, with four state-owned plants generating more than half of the country's power before the Russian invasion. One of the sites, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, is currently sitting in occupied territory.

Via The Telegraph

As part of the current discussions, DTEK is seeking to establish some of the supply chain in Ukraine, which has significant expertise with nuclear engineering.

"The details of these discussions are commercially confidential," Rolls-Royce SMR told the outlet.

DTEK is also understood to have held talks with other companies developing SMRs.

The company provides one fifth of Ukraine’s electricity, largely through coal plants, but its infrastructure has come under heavy fire from Russian forces since the conflict erupted in February 2022.

Talks with Rolls emerged as bidders in the UK competition to fund SMR designs were told that the next stage is being pushed back.

Six companies including Rolls are vying to build government-funded SMR projects. They were expecting to submit a formal tender this month but have now been told the process will start in January. -The Telegraph

A spokesman for Great British Nuclear told the outlet that 'The next phase of the competition will launch as soon as possible and we look forward to receiving vendor bids."