Rosatom State Corporation of Russia has supplied the first batches of more reliable and cost-efficient nuclear fuel over the existing one, the TVS-2M nuclear fuel, to India for the Units 1 & 2 of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP), the company said in a statement on Friday.
“The TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom has supplied the first batches of TVS-2M nuclear fuel to India for the two functioning units of KNPP, powered by VVER-1000 reactors. After the nearest refuelling, the power unit 1 will start operations in 18-month fuel cycle,” the statement said.
“Thus, TVEL has fulfilled the agreement with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) on implementation of a comprehensive engineering project, including introduction of TVS-2M nuclear fuel and elongation of the fuel cycle from 12 to 18 months for both VVER-1000 reactors,” it stated.
Compared to the current fuel model, the TVS-2M fuel assemblies have a number of advantages making them more reliable and cost-efficient, according to Rosatom. Firstly, due the rigidity of a fuel bundle makes it more efficient and more vibration-resistant.
Secondly, the new fuel has increased uranium capacity - one TVS-2M assembly contains 7.6% more fuel material as compared to the earlier fuel bundles. In addition, the special feature of the Kudankulam fuel in particular is the new generation anti-debris filter protecting bundles from debris damage, which may be caused by small-sized objects in the reactor core, the statement explained.
“Operation in longer fuel cycles also enhances economic efficiency of a plant, as reactors have to undergo stoppage and refuelling less frequently, so the power units produce more electricity,” Rosatom said as a result of which the power plant needs to purchase less fresh fuel resulting in savings.
“We offer to our foreign clients the solutions which have proved successful performance at the Russian nuclear power plants. TVS-2M fuel is efficiently operated in 18-months fuel cycle at Rostov NPP and Balakovo NPP in Russia, as well as Tianwan NPP in China. Fuel bundles with ADF-2 anti-debris filter have also showed good results at Rostov NPP. Besides, all VVER-1000 reactors in Russia operate at higher capacity, 104% of the nominal, and this experience is also a matter of interest of nuclear power plants operators abroad”, said Alexander Ugryumov, Senior Vice President for Research and Development at TVEL.
Russia is building the KNPP under an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) of 1988 and follow on agreements in 1998 and 2008. The first stage, consisting of power units No. 1 and No. 2, was commissioned in 2013 and 2017, respectively. Power units No. 3,4 and No. 5,6 are the second and third stages of KNPP which are currently under construction.