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UK backs nuclear fuel supply for Ukraine as Shapps visits Kyiv

The UK supports the supply of vital fuel for Ukraine’s nuclear power plants, as the Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps visits Kyiv.
Kiev, Ukraine
Motherland Monument among green trees on embankment in Kiev, Ukraine
  • Energy Security Secretary on the ground in Ukraine meeting senior government ministers and energy company leaders 
  • government action backs supply of vital fuel for Ukraine’s nuclear power plants with planned £192 million loan guarantee to help power Ukraine over the winter and end its reliance on Russian supplies – further isolating Putin
  • Grant Shapps visits power plant being repaired following Russian bombing

Grant Shapps has visited Kyiv as the UK took action to support the supply of vital fuel for Ukraine’s plants to help power the country through the winter.

The Energy Security Secretary travelled to the capital to meet senior government ministers and leading energy industry figures to discuss Ukraine’s recovery and ongoing UK support following the illegal full-scale invasion by Putin’s Russia.

His visit comes just 2 months after the UK hosted the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London, where international commitments for Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction topped $60 billion. The UK government also agreed a Memorandum of Understanding committing support to Ukraine’s energy sector and green energy future.

During the visit on Tuesday, Grant Shapps visited a power station, a critical part of Ukraine’s national infrastructure, that has been badly damaged by Russian bombing and is now undergoing repairs.

The Energy Security Secretary was later shown around a kindergarten attended by Nikita, the young son of the family he took in under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which was also damaged by Russian shelling. The children performed a song before Mr Shapps played them a recorded message from Nikita.

The visit came as the UK announced its intention to provide a £192 million loan guarantee through UK Export Finance (UKEF) – the UK’s export credit agency – enabling UK-headquartered Urenco to supply Ukraine’s national nuclear company, Energoatom, with uranium enrichment services, a vital part of nuclear fuel, which will help power Ukraine.

Once provided, the support will bring the total of the UK’s non-military assistance to Ukraine to nearly £5 billion.

Nuclear power generates over half of Ukraine’s electricity and the UKEF support announced today is a move towards continuing to supply much-needed power as Ukraine defends itself and recovers from Russian aggression. The support will strengthen Ukraine’s energy security and further isolate Putin by helping the country maintain its independence from Russian nuclear fuel.

Urenco, renowned for nuclear enrichment services, has been a supplier to Energoatom and Ukraine since 2009. The support announced today will enable the further supply of services, with a significant portion of the deliveries coming from the UK – supporting specialist manufacturing jobs in the North West and Wales and the Prime Minister’s priority of growing the economy.

Our support for Ukraine is unwavering in the face of Putin’s barbaric invasion – the UK continues to stand with Ukraine as they repel Russian attacks and rebuild their country.

Being here on the ground, it’s truly remarkable witnessing first-hand the sheer courage, resolve and gritty determination of the Ukrainian people.

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.

Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps 

We remain deeply concerned about the ongoing developments in Ukraine and our thoughts are with the people suffering as a result of the conflict.

Since the start of the invasion, we have provided support to our customer, Energoatom, and its employees, and increased our supply of nuclear enrichment services to help provide energy independence and security of supply in Ukraine.

We are actively discussing longer term supply with Energoatom and are ready to play our part in supporting their future.  We have the capacity to meet current demand for uranium enrichment services and options to increase this to provide an enhanced offering globally.

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.

Urenco CEO Boris Schucht

During the visit, the Energy Security Secretary met Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov and Minister for Energy German Galushchenko to discuss the UK’s support for Ukraine recovery.

Mr Shapps’s visit also comes just days before Ukraine celebrates its Independence Day, celebrating its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

In Kyiv, Grant Shapps met Energoatom’s President Petro Kotin to discuss Urenco’s vital role in supplying nuclear fuel to Ukraine. The Energy Security Secretary also met other Ukrainian energy company leaders to discuss their critical efforts in keeping the lights on for the Ukrainian people and in the recovery.

Today’s news follows the G7 Energy Ministers’ meeting in Sapporo Japan, at which the UK, US, Canada, Japan and France agreed a new nuclear fuel alliance to leverage their respective resources and capabilities of each country’s civil nuclear power sectors to undermine Russia’s grip on supply chains and displace Putin from the international nuclear energy market.

Urenco is the only uranium enrichment company in the UK and is a key part of the government’s plans to rapidly expand nuclear power to provide up to a quarter of all the country’s electricity by 2050, through supporting a resilient nuclear fuel supply chain for the UK and its key international partners.

UKEF support will be provided through a back-stop / guarantee with funds released by partner banks once financial terms are agreed.

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