Russia’s Rosatom wraps up new VVER-440 fuel development for Hungary’s Paks NPP

Russia’s state atomic corporation Rosatom said its TVEL Fuel Company has completed the project of development and validation of the new nuclear fuel modification for the VVER-440 reactors operated at Paks NPP in Hungary.

Paks NPP is the only functioning nuclear power plant in Hungary with total installed capacity 1902 MWe. TVEL JSC President Natalia Nikipelova said her fuel company and Paks NPP have a long-time partnership with a number of successfully accomplished projects. “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,” she said. “Paks NPP contributes about the 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,” Nikipelova added.

According to Rosatom, the full package of documents is handed over to the Hungarian customer for further licensing of the new fuel by the national nuclear power regulator. The first fuel assemblies have passed acceptance testing at the Elemash Machine-building plant, a fuel fabrication facility of TVEL Fuel Company in Elektrostal, Moscow region.

The new modification of VVER-440 second generation fuel would optimise 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, Rosatom said.

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 centre, Rosatom said. At the site of OKB Gidropress research and experiment facility, the new fuel passed a range of hydraulic, longevity and vibration tests.

The first consignment of the modified fuel will be delivered to Paks NPP in 2020. The engineering contract between TVEL JSC and MVM Paks Ltd. for development of the new VVER-440 fuel was signed in late 2017.


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