Chennai, Dec 9 (IANS) Russia’s nuclear fuel company TVEL Fuel Company on Wednesday said it would introduce the new TVS-2M nuclear fuel and elongation of the fuel cycle from 12 to 18 months for both operating VVER-1000 reactors in Tamil Nadu’s Kudankulam.
According to the TVEL Fuel Company, a part of Russia’s integrated nuclear power company Rosatom, a supplement agreement to the fuel supply contract has been signed with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL).
The supplement agreement is to implement a comprehensive engineering project, including introduction of the new TVS-2M nuclear fuel and elongation of the fuel cycle from 12 to 18 months for both operating VVER-1000 reactors of Kudankulam NPP.
According to TVEL Fuel, compared to the UTVS fuel model, which is currently supplied to Kudankulam reactors, TVS-2M fuel assemblies have a number of advantages making them more reliable and cost-effective.
“First, it is the rigidity of a bundle: because of the welded frame, the fuel assemblies in the reactor core retain their geometry, the spacer grids protect fuel rod cladding from fretting wear (preventing from depressurisation), and the additional spacer grid makes fuel assemblies more vibration-resistant. Secondly, the new fuel has increased uranium capacity – one TVS-2M assembly contains 7.6 per cent more fuel material as compared to UTVS,” TVEL Fuel said.
“Everything that we offer to our Indian partners is focused on obtaining economic benefits from nuclear power units operation. The efficiency is achieved due to the increased uranium content in a fuel bundle, reducing the amount of spent nuclear fuel and increasing duration of the fuel campaign from three to four and a half years,” said Natalia Nikipelova, President of TVEL Fuel.
Earlier, TVEL Fuel Company successfully implemented similar projects of replacement UTVS with TVS-2M fuel and an extension of the fuel cycle from 12 to 18 months at Tianwan Nuclear Power Project in China.
India’s atomic power company, NPCIL is building four more plants – Units 3, 4, 5 and 6 – of 1,000 MW each in Kudankulam.
The first two units of similar power generation capacity have been functional for some time now.