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Fuel loading under way at Chinese AP1000
2018-4-27

The Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran and Nuclear Power Production and Development Company of Iran have signed an additional agreement to the current commercial contract for nuclear fuel supply to the Bushehr I nuclear power plant. According to the new document, Russian nuclear fuel manufacturer JSC TVEL will replace the UTVS fuel assemblies it has supplied to the VVER-1000 reactor with its more advanced TVS-2M fuel design.

Bushehr (NIAEP-ASE)_460
The Bushehr I plant (Image: NIAEP-ASE)

The new-generation TVS-2M assemblies have higher uranium capacity, fuel burn-up, and in-pile robustness than UTVS fuel, meaning the change will improve the technical and economic performance of the unit, as well as reduce the amount of used nuclear fuel it produces, TVEL said today.

The first supply of TVS-2M fuel assemblies to Iran is scheduled for 2020.

"For those VVER-1000 reactors which have used UTVS fuel, the transition to TVS-2M is optimal in terms of technological consistency," said Alexander Ugryumov, TVEL's vice President for R&D. All such units in Russia have already been switched to the new fuel and work to do the same at VVER-1000s overseas continues, he added.

TVEL is the sole supplier of nuclear fuel to Russian nuclear power plants and also supplies 75 reactors in 14 countries, research reactors in eight countries, as well as transport reactors of the Russian nuclear fleet. One in every six power reactors in the world runs on TVEL's fuel, it said.

Bushehr I, which came online in 2011, was the first nuclear power plant in the Middle East. It has one 1000 MWe reactor unit producing about 5.9 GWh of electricity per year. Iran is building a two-unit nuclear plant, Bushehr II, which is designed to add 1.8 GWe of nuclear capacity when completed in about 2026.

  
 
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