TVEL to introduce new fuel, longer cycle at Kudankulam

09 December 2020

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited and TVEL, the nuclear fuel manufacturer subsidiary of Russia's Rosatom, have signed a supplementary agreement to the fuel supply contract for the VVER-1000 reactors in operation at Kudankulam. The agreement includes the introduction of TVS-2M nuclear fuel and an extension of the fuel cycle from 12 to 18 months.

Kudankulam units 1 and 2 (Image: Rosatom)

Compared to the UTVS fuel model currently supplied to the plant, TVS-2M fuel assemblies are more reliable and cost-effective - the rigidity of each bundle and increased (7.6% more) uranium content, TVEL said.

"Everything that we offer to our Indian partners is focused on obtaining economic benefits from the nuclear power units' operation," TVEL President Natalia Nikipelova, said. "The efficiency is achieved thanks to the increased uranium content in a fuel bundle, reducing the amount of spent nuclear fuel and increasing the duration of the fuel campaign from three to four-and-a-half years."

TVEL has performed a similar exercise at the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China.

The Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu, in southern India, will consist of six VVER-1000 reactors. The first stage of the construction project, are units 1 and 2, which were commissioned in 2013 and 2017, respectively. Units 3, 4, 5 and 6 are the second and third stages of the project. Units 3 and 4 are under construction, while pre- construction work for units 5 and 6 is under way.

TVEL supplies nuclear fuel to 73 power reactors in 13 countries, research reactors in eight countries, as well as reactors for transport.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News