Russia nuclear fuel company TVEL has signed a contract with Vattenfall Nuclear Fuel to supply lead fuel assemblies (LFA) for the Ringhals 3 NPP in Sweden– a Westinghouse design three loop pressurized water reactor.
The milestone contract marks the first time that Russian nuclear fuel will be licensed for use in a Western-designed PWR. Successful implementation of the project will enable TVEL to enter the new and the biggest market of nuclear fuel supply for Western-type reactors.
Today there are three principal LWR fuel fabricators, each with significant ownership in fuel fabrication facilities in Europe, the US and Asia. Thes are Areva, Global Nuclear Fuel, and Westinghouse Electric Company. Between them, these three companies supply fuel to most of the western-designed PWRs and BWRs in Europe and the USA. TVEL's main markets are Russia and the CIS, although the company already has a presence in the Europe, supplying fuel for Russian-designed light water reactors, including Temelin in the Czech Republic.
The contract includes qualification of fuel manufacturing, which will be carried out at the JSC NCCP, Novosibirsk plant, as well as the supply of four or eight lead fuel assemblies of the TVS-K design.
The TVS-K design utilizes well-proven in the track-record of VVER-1000 fuel assemblies design solutions related to skeleton and spacing grid, which enable one to improve operational safety of the nuclear fuel in PWR reactors. Modern Russian zirconium-based alloys are used as structural materials.
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