Russian fuel company Tvel has signed a contract for the supply of nuclear fuel for units 7&8 at China’s Tianwan nuclear plant in Jiangsu province.
The contract is with Sunsen Nuclear Power Corporation and China Nuclear Energy Corporation, both subsidiaries of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). It includes supplies for the initial loading of fuel, as well as subsequent refuelling. Payment for fuel may be made in Russian rubles or Chinese yuan. The negotiations for the contract were coordinated by Rusatom Overseas.
Rosatom is currently completing unit 4 at the Tianwan nuclear plant. Tianwan 1&2 were launched in 2007, and Tianwan 3 began operations in 2017. Tianwan 4 was launched at minimum capacity in September 2018 after the fuel loading was finished ahead of schedule. All four units are Russian-designed VVER-1000s. Tianwan 5&6 are Chinese-designed 1080MWe ACPR1000 pressurised water reactors.
However, Rosatom is also contracted to build Tianwan 7&8 at the plant (phase IV), which are expected to be VVER-1200 reactors. The general contract for Tianwan Phase IV was signed in March by AtomStroyExport, Rosatom’s engineering division, and CNNC.
Currently, Tianwan 1-4 use fuel produced by the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (part of Tvel) and under a Tvel licence at China’s Yibin Fuel Plant in Sichuan Province. “Since the commissioning of Taiwan 1 in 2006, Tvel has not only supplied fuel, but has also extended comprehensive support including transfer of the VVER-1000 power units to new generation TVS-2M fuel,” said Oleg Grigoriev, Senior Vice President for Commerce and International Business at Tvel. At Yibin, we helped to organise the production of Russian design nuclear fuel.”
Earlier in July, Rosatom began production of long-lead equipment, including the reactor pressure vessels, for Tianwan 7&8. Casting of the raw blanks for forging was carried out at the OMZ-Special Steels (St Petersburg) and Energomashspetsstal PJSC (Kramatorsk, Ukraine) with technical assistance from the Rosatom’s Engineering Division. First concrete for Tianwan 7 is scheduled for May 2021 and Tianwan 8 in March 2022. Tianwan 4 is expected to begin commercial operation later this year.
Photo: Rosatom signed a fuel contract for units 7 and 8 of China’s Tianwan NPP (Photo: TVEL)