TVEL develops new fuel for Hungarian reactors

October 15, 2020, 3:00PMNuclear News

TVEL Fuel Company, a division of Russian atomic energy corporation Rosatom, has completed a project to develop and validate a new nuclear fuel modification for the Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary, the company announced on October 13.

According to TVEL, the full package of modification documents has been handed over to MVM Paks Ltd., the plant’s operator, for further licensing of the new fuel by Hungary’s national nuclear power regulator. TVEL added that the project’s first fuel assemblies passed acceptance testing at the company’s Elemash Machine-Building plant, a fuel fabrication facility in Elektrostal, near Moscow.

The first consignment of the modified fuel is scheduled for delivery to Paks later this year. The contract between TVEL and MVM Paks for development of the new fuel was signed in late 2017.

Fuel efficiency: The modification of VVER-440 second-generation fuel will, according to TVEL, optimize the hydro-uranium ratio in the reactor core, increasing the efficiency of fuel usage and advancing the economic performance of Paks’ operation.

They said it: “TVEL Fuel Company and Paks have a long-time partnership with a number of successfully accomplished projects,” said Natalia Nikipelova, TVEL’s president. “Introduction of the new fuel modification at all four power units of the plant would enable our customer to decrease gradually the fuel share in the power generation cost, giving an essential economic impact. Paks contributes about half of the whole electricity generation in Hungary, and for us, as a nuclear fuel manufacturer, it is a matter of professional pride to provide the Hungarian nuclear power units with reliable supplies of the fuel which would be both high-quality and commercially attractive.”

Paks facts: Located in central Hungary and the country’s only nuclear power facility, Paks houses four VVER-440/V213 pressurized water reactors. Units 1 through 4 started operating commercially in 1983, 1984, 1986, and 1987, respectively. According to TVEL, Paks is the only VVER-440 plant in the world operating in extended 15-month fuel cycles.

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