1st bulk order of China-made sponge zirconium leaves for Russia
CNNC, PUBLISHED 22.08.2020
The first batch of nuclear-grade sponge zirconium products independently developed by CNNC China Nuclear Energy Industry Co is shipped to Vostochny, Russia. [Photo/official WeChat account of CNNC]
The first batch of nuclear-grade sponge zirconium products independently developed by CNNC China Nuclear Energy Industry Co is en route to Vostochny, Russia, marking China's first big overseas shipment of nuclear-grade sponge zirconium.
The nuclear-grade zirconium material is being exported by a combination of sea and railway transport and is expected to arrive in Vostochny in early September 2020.
Zirconium alloy is the key structural material of a nuclear reactor core and is often referred to as the 'first safety barrier' of nuclear reactors. The material is very important for the safe and stable operation of nuclear power plants and is one of the chief indicators for evaluating the research and development level of fuel assembly.
Nuclear-grade sponge zirconium is a key raw material for manufacturing nuclear-grade zirconium alloy materials.
A container loaded with nuclear-grade sponge zirconium products. [Photo/official WeChat account of CNNC]
After years of continuous product improvement and market development, the production capacity and quality of CNNC China Nuclear Energy Industry Co have continuously improved.
China Nuclear Jinghuan Zirconium Industry Co, a subsidiary of CNNC China Nuclear Energy Industry Co, is currently the only company in China that has achieved an industrial production chain using raw materials, as well as the separation of zirconium and hafnium to create nuclear-grade sponge zirconium, and hafnium preparation.
In August 2019, the nuclear-grade sponge zirconium products produced by China Nuclear Jinghuan Zirconium Industry Co successfully passed the qualification appraisal review, proof that the nuclear-grade sponge zirconium products independently developed and produced by CNNC have reached an advanced level.
In May 2020, CNNC China Nuclear Energy Industry Co signed a contract to export nuclear-grade sponge zirconium to the Chepetsky Mechanical Plant, which is operated by Russian fuel company TVEL. The agreement with an overseas company is confirmation that CNNC's nuclear-grade zirconium sponge products have reached international standards.
The complete MOX-core is planned in 2022.
The white paper is available here (bottom left section to download).
Another 55 units are under construction.
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