Rosatom to begin pilot operation of TVS-5 fuel

7 December 2022

Rosatom plans to start reactor testing of fifth-generation TVS (fuel assemblies), TVS-5, in 2023, according to the senior vice president for scientific and technical activities of Rosatom’s fuel company TVEL, Alexander Ugryumov. "The development of TVS-5 is divided into two phases. The first is testing the design, as they say, in the classic version - using uranium dioxide as fuel. We will make three assemblies, which will go to unit 1 of the Novoronezh NPP - that is, we will be doing pilot operation of a standard design with standard fuel."  

The second stage, he said, is to test a standard design with a special uranium-plutonium fuel. After that, by 2025, it is planned to establish pilot production of TVS-5 at TVEL’s Siberian Chemical Combine (SCC) in Seversk. 

TVS-5 is a fifth-generation fuel assembly that is being developed to organise serial production of uranium-plutonium fuel for VVER-1000 and VVER-1200 reactors. The features of this design will make it possible to organise an automated unmanned assembly production of fuel from regenerated uranium and plutonium.

TVEL has completed a set of bench tests of full-scale mock-ups of TVS-5 and performed computational justifications. The development of uranium-plutonium fuel is being carried out to implement Russia’s strategy for creating a two-component nuclear power industry with thermal and fast neutron reactors operating in a closed nuclear fuel cycle. This will involve recycling of products derived from used nuclear fuel, such as reprocessed uranium and plutonium.

Image: TVS-5 fuel assembly (courtesy of TVEL)

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