Rosatom starts supplies of nuclear fuel for CFR-600 fast reactor
TVEL, PUBLISHED 30.09.2022
Elemash Machine-building Plant, a fuel fabrication enterprise of Rosatom's TVEL Fuel Company, has dispatched the first batch of nuclear fuel to China for the CFR-600 fast neutron reactor. Till the end of the year, two more fuel shipments are scheduled to follow, aimed for the initial load of the reactor core and the first refueling.
After the launch of the first CFR-600 power unit, Xiapu NPP in China's Fujian province will become the first nuclear power plant with a high-capacity fast reactor outside of Russia. The other two functioning installations are the BN-600 and BN-800 sodium-cooled reactors at Beloyarsk NPP in the Urals region of Russia.
"The project of fuel fabrication for CFR-600, lasting for already three years, has been a unique task for us in terms of complexity. Rosatom's nuclear fuel division fully completes its commitments; we have shipped the first batch of fuel assemblies for the initial load of the reactor core. Thus, TVEL has proved it is capable of solving outstanding tasks and being flexible for the customer's requirements. And we definitely see a great potential for the further development of our cooperation with the Chinese partners", Oleg Grigoriyev, Senior Vice President for Commerce and International Business at TVEL Fuel Company.
The facility for uranium CFR-600 fuel fabrication at the Elemash plant was launched in 2021. The enterprise had provided a fundamental modernization of the fast reactor fuel fabrication shop-floor, some examples of unique equipment had been developed and installed onsite. In late 2021, the mock-ups of control and protection system assemblies for CFR-600 were shipped to the Customer for testing of the simulation reactor core.
The CFR-600 fuel contract was signed in compliance of the agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the People's Republic of China on the joint construction and operation of the demonstration fast reactor in China. It is a part of a large-scale program of bilateral cooperation in nuclear industry for the decades ahead. In particular, the agreement covers construction of innovative power units of the Russian design (generation III +) with VVER-1200 reactors at two sites in China - Tianwan NPP and Xudabao NPP. The package of intergovernmental documents and framework contracts for these projects was signed in 2018, in presence of the heads of the two states.
This is the first time that a power unit with this type of reactor has been issued a construction licence in the European Union.
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