KYIV, Ukraine -- President of state-owned enterprise National Nuclear Generating Company Energoatom Petro Kotin has confirmed plans to launch the first phase of the central spent nuclear fuel storage facility (CSFSF) in December 2020, the press service of the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine has said.

According to the press service, the president of Energoatom made the corresponding assurance during a meeting in the ministry initiated by Holtec International, a supplier of technologies and equipment for the project.

At the same time, Kotin said that in order to meet the work schedule, it is necessary to resolve issues that depend not only on the company. In particular, it is necessary to build railway tracks to the storage facility on the forest site managed by the State Agency for the Management of the Exclusion Zone.

The head of Energoatom called for the resumption of monthly meetings of the steering committee for the construction of the CSFSF, at which problematic issues can be quickly resolved.

As a result of the meeting, the Ministry of Energy instructed Energoatom to intensify the work on the project, weekly report on the state of construction and existing problems, weekly provide the Ministry of Energy, Holtec International and KIEP Institute with reports on the status of calculations on the project, resume the participation of representatives of the ministry in the committee meetings and update the construction schedule of the CSFSF.

"The construction of the CSFSF is the largest project in the field of nuclear energy in Ukraine. With the introduction of its own storage facility, Ukraine will get rid of its monopoly dependence on Russia in terms of storing spent nuclear fuel. In addition, our state, using its own storage facility, will be able to save about $200 million a year, which now is paid to Russia," Minister of Energy Olha Buslavets said.

NOTE:  Holtec International is a long-time member of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC).