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The construction of reactor units 5 and 6 at the Khmelnytskyi Nuclear Power Plant in Netishyn, Khmelnytskyi Oblast, western Ukraine, on April 11, 2024. (Energoatom/Telegram)
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Ukraine's nuclear energy agency Energoatom has started building reactor units 5 and 6 at the Khmelnytskyi Nuclear Power Plant using U.S. technology that would help prevent power outages in case of Russian attacks, Energoatom's press service said on April 15.

Amid Russia's large-scale missile and drone attacks on Ukraine's energy system, Kyiv seeks to protect its critical infrastructure facilities.

Ukraine also aims to secure additional power-generating capacity as the country's largest nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia Oblast has remained under Russian occupation since March 2022.

After the reactor units 5 and 6 are built and units 3 and 4 are put into operation, the Khmelnytskyi Nuclear Power Plant's power generating capacity will exceed the one of the Zaporizhzhia plant, according to Energoatom head Petro Kotin.

Russia aims to knock out Ukraine’s power grid in new wave of attacks
Editor’s note: The article was updated on March 27 with comments from Roman Nitsovych, a research director at DiXi Group. Russia launched a fresh wave of missile and drone attacks against Ukraine between March 21-25, hitting the country’s critical infrastructure heavier than ever before. Some 190…

The Khmelnytskyi plant located in Ukraine's west will then replace the Zaporizhzhia plant as the largest one in Europe.

The first cube of concrete was laid on April 11 for Khmelnytskyi nuclear plant's unit 5, which will become the first reactor unit in Ukraine built using the U.S.'s AR1000 technology, Energoatom reported.

"A special feature of the American AP 1000 technology is the ability to balance the units. Today, the enemy is attacking and destroying the balancing capacities of the Ukrainian energy sector, so the construction of units with the ability to maneuver is crucial for us," said Energy Minister German Galushchenko.

"This is a major geopolitical project of common interest for Ukraine and the United States. The technologies that we will build and develop together will push Russians out of the European nuclear energy market."

The construction is being carried out jointly with the U.S.'s Westinghouse Electric Company. Ukraine plans to build a total of nine power units using Westinghouse's technology, according to U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink.

Minister: Ukraine needs advanced air defense to protect energy infrastructure
As Russia increased its attacks, the shortage of air defense systems in Ukraine became more tangible.
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