Kazakhstan’s National Nuclear Company Kazatomprom has delivered another consignment of fuel assemblies to China from its Kazakh-Chinese fuel plant, Ulba-TVS. The founders of the joint venture company were the Kazatomprom subsidiary Ulba Metallurgical Plant (UMZ) with 51% and CGNPC Uranium Resources Company Limited (CGNPC-URC – part of China General Nuclear Power Group – CGN) with 49%.

The Ulba-TVS plant was commissioned in November 2021 after receiving certification from French company Framatome, the owner of the production technology for AFA 3G design fuel assemblies. The plant also received recognition as a certified nuclear fuel supplier from end user CGNPC-URC.

The heads of Kazakhstan’s Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund, Kazatomprom and Ulba-TVS took part in the ceremony of accepting nuclear fuel for the Yangjiang NPP along with respresentatives of China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and

“This project is proof that our countries can sell, and are already selling, high-tech industry products,” said Samruk-Kazyna Board Chairman Nurlan Zhakupov. “I want to especially note the personal contribution of the leadership of the CGN group and Kazatomprom, UMZ and Ulba-TVS that enabled our teams to fulfil production plans and tasks.

The plant supplied a batch of assemblies containing more than 30 tonnes of low enriched uranium. The Yangjiang NPP in Guangdong province has six units with CPR-1000 and ACPR-1000 pressurised water reactors.

“CGN has been our reliable strategic partner for many years. We have carried out a number of successful projects for uranium mining, the production of fuel tablets and heat-sealing assemblies. I am sure that … all areas of our cooperation will continue to be successfully implemented,” said Meirzhan Yusupov, Boaed Chairman of Kazatomprom.

Ulba-TVS continues to increase production volumes to reach full production capacity of 200 tonnes of uranium in the form of fuel assemblies a year by 2024. The company has a guaranteed sales market for 20 years going forward.

Delivery of the first batch of fuel assemblies from the Ulba-TVS to China took place in December followed by a second in May 2023. By the end of this year, several more shipments are expected to be delivered to China.

Image courtesy of Rosatom