On July 12, 2023, representatives of World ThermoExport signed a tripartite contract for the construction of the small modular reactor (SMR) Teplator. A breakthrough source of clean energy will grow in the coming years in the modern city of Slavutych in the north of Ukraine.
The ceremonial act of signing the contract took place in the morning at CIIRC CTU in Prague. A press conference was also held here from 1 p.m. „The TEPLATOR project has reached a key development milestone. It has matured from the theoretical and scientific level to practice and real business in the field of nuclear energy. Thanks to Ukrainian partners, we got our first client. This confirms the indisputable importance of Teplator. Not only for young cities like Slavutych, it represents a huge potential in terms of thermal energy renewal and independence. Its connection with the North Ukrainian Nuclear Science Hub shows the uniqueness of the innovative-technological solution and last but not least for Teplator it means that the official authorities of the country, which is one of the energy superpowers, give the green light to this solution,“ says Ivan Machoň, Chairman of the Board of Directors of World ThermoExport a.s.
Natallia Shvets, deputy mayor of Slavutych, came to Prague for the contract signing ceremony, and Mykhailo Borysiuk signed the contract on behalf of Teploatom Service LLC.
Development of SMR in Ukraine
Ukraine is one of the major players in the field of nuclear energy. Taking into account the strategic interests of the country to use SMRs not only to produce electricity, but also heat, Teploatom Service LLC was established. This company is also the official representative for the implementation of Teplator technology with the subsequent construction and operation of the equipment on the territory of Ukraine.
The company employs experienced experts in the field of nuclear physics, nuclear energy, radiation safety, certification and licensing of nuclear facilities. One of the company’s key figures is Mykhailo Borysiuk, a globally recognized expert on nuclear and security issues. He participated in the liquidation of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in 1986 and managed the specialized committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for radiation safety and ecology. He is a member of many different world commissions. During a recent visit to Prague, he praised the technological, safety and economic parameters of Teplator, as well as the very readiness of the project for the licensing process. „Today’s signing of the cooperation agreement is such a great result of these negotiations. Now we will strive for a successful course of licensing, preparation for trial operation and subsequent introduction into the commercial environment,“ said Professor Radek Škoda at a press konference. He is the scientist who invented the Telplator project in cooperation with other scientists from the University of West Bohemia and the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC) at CTU in Prague.
The city of Slavutych is ideal for TEPLATOR
The city of Slavutych is one of the youngest cities in Europe. It was created between 1986 and 1988 shortly after the Chernobyl accident as a new town for the residents of the evacuated town of Pripyat. Today, Slavutych has about 27,000 inhabitants and the entire town is connected to a central heating system, which means excellent conditions for Teplator.
“This city is full of energy workers, engineers and specialists related to nuclear energy and the elimination of the consequences of the Chernobyl accident. That’s why the mayor of the city, Yuriy Fomichev, came up with the idea of establishing the North Ukrainian Nuclear Hub,“ says Professor Škoda. The founders of the hub are the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, the company Atomremont Servis, which, among other things, deals with the possibilities of using spent fuel, the State Agency of Ukraine for the Management of Excluded Areas and the city of Slavutych. „The participation of the Czech Teplator in this professional platform will contribute to its further development and, on the other hand, will bring opportunities for energy and heating education in the future to Ukrainian partners,“ says Škoda.
The topic of irradiated fuel is not taboo in Ukraine
The establishment of Teplator in Ukraine is also supported by Volodomyr Medintsov, a representative of the company Atomremont Servis, which is a subdivision of the largest state energy company Enerhoatom. This company will play an important role in Teplator’s nuclear power solution.
„Thanks to this support, we managed to start successful negotiations with Atomremont Servis, which ensures the storage, transport and unloading of spent fuel from the VVER-440 reactor,“ explains Professor Škoda. Some experts criticize precisely the handling of spent fuel, saying that Czech legislation does not allow such an activity, and because of this they described the introduction of the Teplator into practice as quite complicated. The path to practice will not be easy despite these successes. „In parallel with the preparation of the project in Ukraine, we are dealing with the licensing process at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). For our partners and for the Ukrainian authorities, it is now sufficient that these negotiations and preparations for the certification process are underway,“ adds Professor Škoda.
The exclusive partner is ThermoExport
Another important part of the project is its sustainable financing. The entry of an investor marked a big shift for the project. „Majority share in Teplator a.s. is held by the Czech company IPC Holding a.s.,“ says its chairman of the board Petr Pávek.
According to Pávek, multi-source financing is necessary for the future of the project. „We were looking for the best way to secure funding for the scientific research and development of Teplator as such and separately build a business model with the possibility of other investors entering. That is why we founded the company World ThermoExport, which is also a supplier and operator of the concept of unique central boilers. This company has not only included the future Teplator concept in its business offer, but can also provide turnkey solutions for cities or state institutions. At the same time, it is an exclusive partner for private investors,“ concludes Pávek.