Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom has begun resource (life-time) testing of a mock-up of third-generation VVER-440 nuclear fuel for the Dukovany nuclear plant in the Czech Republic.
Tests of the prototype assembly of 3rd generation RK3+ VVER-440 fuel are being conducted by OKB Gidropress (part of Rosatom’s engineering division Atomenergomash).
The work is being carried out under a contract between TVEL and the Czech energy company CEZ.
“The introduction of RK3+ fuel will enable power units to operate at increased thermal power and increase the duration of the fuel cycle of the Dukovany NPP, which will increase the economic efficiency of the power plant,” said Alexander Ugryumov, vice president for Scientific and Technical Activities at Russian nuclear fuel company TVEL.
The resource tests began after the successful completion of hydrodynamic tests of the layout to determine the hydraulic resistance of the RK3+ cartridge.
The tests are carried out at the full-scale research bench for hot break-in B-440 and will continue for 1500 hours of continuous operation, said TVEL. The purpose of the tests is to study the mechanical resistance of the elements of the RK3+ cassette in thermohydrodynamic conditions, as close as possible to natural conditions.
Dukovany nuclear power plant with an installed electric capacity of 2040MW has four power units with VVER-440 reactors (510MW each), commissioned in 1985, 1986 and 1987.
Dukovany and Temelin NPP (two units with VVER-1000 reactors) provide 35% of the Czech Repulic’s total electricity. Both plants have been using Russian nuclear fuel produced by the Mashinostroitelny Zavod in Elektrostal since they were commissioned.
Photo: Dukovany nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic