The batch of fuel assemblies made by Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant (NCCP) for the initial fuel loading of unit 2 of the nuclear power plant under construction in Belarus has passed its final inspection. NCCP is a subsidiary of Russian fuel manufacturer TVEL.

Fuel assemblies for Belarus NPP being packed into transport and storage casks at NCCP (Image: TVEL)

The twin-unit plant, near Ostrovets in the Grodno region of Belarus, is being built using Russian VVER-1200 reactors to give 2340 MWe net capacity online. The first unit is scheduled for commissioning this year, with the second unit to be brought online in 2020. Unit 1 - the first nuclear power unit to be built in Belarus - started the commissioning phase in April.

TVEL said today that the batch of 152 fuel assemblies for unit 2 that had been fabricated at NCCP under a contract between TVEL and ASE - the general contractor for the project - had completed the inspection process. Both TVEL and ASE are subsidiaries of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom. The final inspection was carried out by representatives of ASE, VPO ZAES (a company licensed to conduct nuclear fuel acceptance checks), Belarus NPP, as well as Belarus’ national nuclear regulator, Gosatomnadzor.

The inspectors had access to all the required documents, the NCCP manufacturing process (including numerous quality control stages) and the completed fuel assemblies. They also supervised the process of placing the fuel assemblies into casks for their subsequent transportation.

A similar final inspection of fuel for the initial loading of unit 1 at the plant was completed at NCCP in November last year.

"The fuel division of Rosatom has met its obligations to fabricate fuel for both units of Belarus NPP strictly to schedule. In future, in addition to the NCCP site, we will also consider fabricating fresh nuclear fuel for this power plant at Machine-building Plant in Elektrostal," Mikhail Zarubin, senior vice president for production at TVEL, said.

"Each fuel fabrication facility at TVEL has its own profile, but both of them have expertise in the production of VVER-1200 fuel. This enables us to supply nuclear fuel in a timely manner to all NPPs with advanced and the most efficient Gen 3+ power units, both operational ones and those under construction in Russia, Belarus, and other countries where Rosatom is constructing NPPs of a similar design," he added.

TVEL incorporates enterprises for the fabrication of nuclear fuel, conversion and enrichment of uranium, manufacturing of gas centrifuges, as well as research and design organisations. It is the only supplier of nuclear fuel for Russian nuclear power plants and provides nuclear fuel for 76 power reactors in 15 countries, research reactors in eight countries, as well as transport reactors of the Russian nuclear fleet. TVEL said every sixth power reactor in the world operates on fuel it has manufactured.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Tuesday, 21 May 2019
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