At TopFuel 2023 conference in Chinese cityIn Xi'an, Russian specialists presented a fuel assembly for light water reactors of Western design PWR. In China, the majority of such reactors and Russia, at least, can become a supplier to the Celestial Empire not just of raw materials (uranium), but of fuel assemblies - finished high-tech products, which in fact have no analogues with the prospect of becoming a supplier for almost any reactor in the world.
According to Rosatom, today every sixththe world's power reactor runs on Russian-made fuel. Since the 90s of the last century, Westinghouse began to make attempts to create its own analogue of fuel for reactors of the Soviet and, later, Russian design. It was not possible to immediately enter the European market due to inadequate performance of American fuel, but progress was made in Ukraine and today, taking into account the Ukrainian experience and thanks to the sanctions cut off Russia from the EU, Westinghouse began to actively conclude contracts for the supply of fuel assemblies for nuclear power plants based on Russian projects in Europe.
Rosatom, for its part, also created the basisfor the supply of fuel assemblies for Westinghouse reactors and the like. The main advantage of Russian “Western-style” fuel is the complete independence of supply chains. The process from start to finish is carried out in Russia in compliance with all technological requirements. But that's not all. The fuel assemblies presented by Russian developers have improvements that allow the fuel to “burn” longer and with greater efficiency.
In other words, the Russian alternative allowsless often to carry out the procedure of loading the reactor and opens up the possibility of working under increased loads. Thus, these assemblies make it possible to generate cheaper electricity, which further emphasizes the status of nuclear energy as “green”.
Western-style assemblies are based onfuel of Russian design TVS-Kvadrat (TVSK). The production of TVS-Kvadrat fuel assemblies is deployed at the Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (NZHK PJSC, an enterprise of the TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom). The assemblies passed the full test cycle in 2020 in the PWR-900 reactor at power unit No. 3 of the Ringhals NPP in Sweden. After working out, they were sent for an independent examination to the Studsvik research center in Sweden to conduct post-reactor studies. In the fall of 2021, the center gave a positive assessment to the samples. There were no complaints about the Russian-made assemblies that worked at the "western" reactor.
“TVSK fuel provides NPP operators with uniqueBenefits: increased performance of power units based on proven solutions, increased operational safety — and all this together with increased sustainability of fuel supply chains thanks to completely independent technical solutions of Rosatom,” emphasized Ilya Ushmarov, project manager of the TVS-Kvadrat program group of TVEL JSC.