The new modification of Russian VVER-440 fuel loaded at Paks NPP in Hungary
TVEL, PUBLISHED 14.12.2020
After the recent refueling at power unit 3 of the Hungarian Paks NPP, its VVER-440 reactor has been loaded with a batch of fresh fuel including 18 fuel bundles of the new modification. The new fuel will be introduced at all four operating power units of the Paks NPP, the number of new-modification bundles in each refueling will be increased gradually.
Development of the new VVER-440 fuel modification was completed in 2020 under the contract between TVEL JSC and MVM Paks NPP Ltd. Its introduction would optimize the hydro-uranium ratio in the reactor core, enabling to increase the efficiency of fuel usage and advance the economic performance of the power plant operation.All VVER-440 fuel modifications are manufactured at the Elemash Machine-Building Plant, a facility of TVEL Fuel Company in Elektrostal, Moscow Region.
"Introduction of a new fuel is an option to improve technical and economic performance of a nuclear power plant without substantial investment. We are actively engaged in development of new models and modifications of VVER-440 fuel for power plants in Europe. The projects of the new fuels for Loviisa NPP in Finland, Dukovany NPP in the Czech Republic, Mochovce and Bohunice NPPs in Slovakia, are currently at various stages ofimplementation. Despite the same reactor model, these projects are quite different technically and conceptually, since we take into account the individual needs and requirements of our customers," commented Natalia Nikipelova, President of TVEL JSC.
The project of development and validation of the new fuel has been accomplished with participation of a number of Russian nuclear industry enterprises, such as OKB Gidropress (a part of Rosatom machine-building division Atomenergomash), Bochvar Institute (material science research facility of TVEL Fuel Company), Elemash Machine-building plant and Kurchatov Institute national research center.
At the site of OKB Gidropress research and experiment facility, the new fuel passed a range of hydraulic, longevity and vibration tests.
The license application package was submitted to the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) on March 28, 2019.
The first sets of magnets have been manufactured and shipped to the customer.
Minimum control power level is reached when neutron flux is recorded in a reactor working at a level sufficient to sustain a fission chain reaction.
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