TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom has dispatched all shipments to China scheduled for 2022, in order to supply the first core loading of the CFR-600 fast-neutron reactor. In total, three batches of nuclear fuel, including all fuel assemblies for the first core loading as well as the bundles for the first refueling, have been sent by rail from the Elemash Machine-Building Plant in Elektrostal (an enterprise of Rosatom's TVEL Fuel Company). Along with that, reactor control and protection assemblies have been delivered to China by air.
After the launch of the first CFR-600 power unit, Xiapu NPP in China’s Fujian province will become the first nuclear power plant with a high-capacity fast reactor outside of Russia. The other two functioning installations are the BN-600 and BN-800 sodium-cooled reactors at Beloyarsk NPP in the Urals region of Russia.
The facility for CFR-600 uranium fuel fabrication at the Elemash plant was launched in 2021. The enterprise had provided a fundamental modernization of the fast reactor fuel fabrication shop-floor, some examples of unique equipment had been developed and installed onsite. In late 2021, the mock-ups of control and protection system assemblies for CFR-600 were shipped to the Customer for testing of the simulation reactor core.
“TVEL Fuel Company has fully and on time accomplished all obligations as part of the CFR-600 project. This is another important area of our cooperation in addition to fuel supplies for VVER reactors at Tianwan NPP, development of VVER fuel fabrication at the Yibin plant, as well as fuel supplies for China's first experimental fast reactor CEFR. Overall, Rosatom has a unique experience of more than 40 years in the production of fuel for fast reactors, and we see significant potential for its further implementation in development of dual-component nuclear power strategy (i.e. with operations of thermal fast neutron reactors) not only in Russia, but also in China as well”, Oleg Grigoriyev, Senior Vice President for Commerce and International Business at TVEL Fuel Company, commented.
The CFR-600 fuel contract was signed in compliance of the agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the People’s Republic of China. It is a part of a large-scale program of bilateral cooperation in nuclear industry for the decades ahead. In particular, the agreement covers construction of innovative power units of the Russian design (generation III +) with VVER-1200 reactors at two sites in China - Tianwan NPP and Xudabao NPP. The package of intergovernmental documents and framework contracts for these projects was signed in 2018, in presence of the heads of the two states.
TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom (the Fuel division of the State Corporation Rosatom) includes enterprises for the manufacture of nuclear fuel, conversion and enrichment of uranium, production of gas centrifuges, as well as research and design organizations. Being the only exclusive of nuclear fuel for Russian nuclear power plants, TVEL provides fuel to a total of 75 power reactors in 15 countries, research reactors in nine countries of the world, as well as transport reactors of the Russian nuclear fleet. Every sixth power reactor in the world is powered by TVEL fuel. Rosatom's fuel division is the world's largest producer of enriched uranium, as well as the leader of the global market for stable isotopes. The Fuel Division is actively developing new businesses in the field of chemistry, metallurgy, energy storage technologies, 3D printing, digital products, as well as decommissioning of nuclear facilities. Rosatom's industry integrators for additive technologies and power storage systems have been created in the Fuel Company TVEL circuit.