The initial loading of nuclear fuel for unit 2 of the Belarus has completed its final inspection, Russian fuel company Tvel (part of state nuclear corporation Rosatom) said on 22 May. The NPP, being built with Russian participation near Ostrovets, Grodno region, comprises two units with generation 3+ VVER-1200 reactors scheduled for commissioning in 2019 and 2020. 

The 152 fuel assemblies were manufactured at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (NCCP – part of Tvel) under a contract between Tvel and ASE (the engineering division of Rosatom), which is general designer and general contractor for the NPP project. The final inspection was carried out by representatives of ASE, ZNPP JSC (a company licensed to conduct nuclear fuel acceptance checks), Belarus NPP and the Belarus national nuclear regulator, Gosatomnadzor. In November 2018, a similar inspection was completed of the initial fuel load for Belarus unit 1. The commissioning phase for unit 1 began in April. Cold and hot testing started earlier in May.

“Rosatom’s fuel division fulfilled its obligations to produce fuel for units 1 and 2 of the Belarus NPP strictly schedule. In the future, the manufacture of fresh fuel may involve, not only NCCP, but also Mashinostroitelny Zavod in Electrostal. Although each of the fabrication plants has its own specialisation, they both have competencies in the production of fuel for VVER-1200s. This allows us to ensure timely supply of nuclear fuel to all NPPs operating and under construction with these modern and efficient generation units 3+ in both Russia and Belarus, and in other countries where Rosatom is building similar NPPs,” said Mikhail Zarubin, Senior Vice President for Production at Tvel.

The direct contract between Tvel and the Belarus NPP for the supply of nuclear fuel to units 1 and 2 was signed in December 2017. Tvel is the only supplier of nuclear fuel for Russian NPPs and provides nuclear fuel for 76 power reactors in 15 countries and research reactors in eight countries, as well as transport reactors for the Russian nuclear fleet.