Russia’s fuel company Tvel (a subsidiary of state nuclear corporation Rosatom) has signed a cooperation agreement with the Czech research centre Řež (CVŘ – Centrum výzkumu Řež) for materials science studies and research.

Tvel said Czech scientists would conduct experiments on the irradiation of nuclear construction materials in the CVŘ research reactor and also carry out pre-irradiation and post-irradiation studies. The studies are intended to "validate the operational characteristics of Russian-made nuclear fuel" and will focus on the behaviour of the materials in nuclear fuel assemblies, including zirconium, chrome-nickel and steel alloys, as well as some others. Tvel said such studies are necessary to substantiate the performance characteristics of Russian-made nuclear fuel.

"Through investigating the materials of Tvel fuel assemblies, we are interested in studying their corrosion resistance, creep flow, structural properties, fatigue performance, experiments for dry storage and testing within supercritical water parameters," said Alexander Ugryumov, Tvel vice-president for research and development. Data from a non-Russian research centre will provide "additional confirmation of the quality of our products," he noted.

The CVŘ infrastructure includes a light-water research reactor, technological water loop modelling conditions of various reactor types, hot and medium-hot cells for irradiated materials analysis and also several accredited laboratories for mechanical and structural research of irradiated and non-irradiated materials, according to Tvel.

Tvel includes enterprises for the fabrication of nuclear fuel, uranium conversion and enrichment, the production of gas centrifuges, as well as research and development organisations. It is the only supplier of nuclear fuel for Russian NPPs and also supplies fuel to 76 reactors in 15 countries and research reactors in eight countries as well as to thetransport reactors of the Russian nuclear fleet.  

Photo by CVŘ, 100% subsidiary of ÚJV Řež, which undertakes a wide range of applied research and development for the energy, industry and health sectors