TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) have signed a supplement agreement to the fuel supply contract, aimed at the implementation of 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.
Compared to the UTVS fuel model, which is currently supplied to Kudankulam NPP, 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 depressurization), 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% more fuel material as compared to UTVS.
“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,” commented Natalia Nikipelova, President of TVEL JSC.
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 NPP in China.
TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom incorporates enterprises for the fabrication of nuclear fuel, conversion and enrichment of uranium, production of gas centrifuges, as well as research and design organizations. It is the only supplier of nuclear fuel for Russian nuclear power plants. TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom provides nuclear fuel for 73 power reactors in 13 countries worldwide, research reactors in eight countries, as well as transport reactors of the Russian nuclear fleet. Every sixth power reactor in the world operates on fuel manufactured by TVEL.
Kudankulam NPP in Tamil Nadu state in southern India involves the construction of 6 power units with VVER-1000 reactors with an installed capacity of 6000 MW. 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 the Kudankulam NPP. Currently, power units No. 3 and No. 4 are being constructed and preparation for construction of power units No. 5 and No. 6 is underway.