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Russia to supply nuclear fuel for China’s fast-neutron reactor

TVEL Fuel Company, a subsidiary of Russia’s state atomic energy corporation- Rosatom and CNLY, a subsidiary of  China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) have signed a contract for supply of nuclear fuel for CFR-600 fast-neutron reactor which is currently under construction in China.

The contract covers the initial loading of nuclear fuel, as well as supplies for refueling during the first seven years of the reactor operation, said a press release.

New manufacturing line for the CFR-600 fuel assemblies is planned at the Machine-building Plant of TVEL Fuel Company in Elektrostal in Moscow. The Chinese side addressed Rosatom State Corporation with a request for production of the CFR-600 fuel assemblies, considering its almost 40 years long experience of nuclear fuel manufacturing for the Russian fast-neutron reactors.

“In addition to our long-time experience with uranium-based fuel manufacturing for commercial fast-neutron reactors, in 2018, Rosatom has launched batch production of uranium-and-plutonium MOX fuel for the BN-800 reactor,” said Natalia Nikipelova, the president of TVEL.

Rusatom Overseas coordinates negotiation of the whole package of agreements on cooperation in the nuclear industry between Russia and China. “Given that this project is a demonstration type, Russian engineers will come up with, in fact, a new kind of nuclear fuel, based on the Chinese design” Evgeny Pakermanov, the president of Rusatom Overseas informed.

The CFR-600 fuel contract has been signed as a part of the agreement between the Government of Russia and of China on the joint construction and operation of the fast reactor in China. The agreement mainly 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.

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 72 power reactors in 14 countries, 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.

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