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13.10.2020 12:22

Rosatom completes development of the new VVER-400 fuel for Hungary’s Paks NPP

Rosatom completes development of the new VVER-400 fuel for Hungary’s Paks NPP

TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom has completed the project of development and validation of the new nuclear fuel modification for the VVER-440 reactors operated at Paks NPP in Hungary. The full package of documents is handed over to the Hungarian customer for further licensing of the new fuel by the national nuclear power regulator.  The first fuel assemblies have passed acceptance testing at the Elemash Machine-building plant, a fuel fabrication facility of TVEL Fuel Company in Elektrostal, Moscow region.

The new modification of VVER-440 second generation fuel would optimize the hydro-uranium ratio in the reactor core, enabling to increase the efficiency of fuel usage and advance the economic performance of the power plant operation.

“TVEL Fuel Company and Paks NPP have a long-time partnership with a number of successfully accomplished projects. Introduction of the new fuel modification at all four power units of the plant would enable our customer to decrease gradually the fuel share in the power generation cost, giving an essential economic impact. Paks NPP contributes about the half of the whole electricity generation in Hungary, and for us, as a nuclear fuel manufacturer, it is a matter of professional pride to provide the Hungarian nuclear power units with reliable supplies of the fuel which would be both high-quality and commercially attractive”, commented Natalia Nikipelova, President of TVEL JSC.

The project of development and validation of the new fuel has been accomplished with participation of a number of Russian nuclear industry enterprises, such as OKB Gidropress (a part of Rosatom machine-building division Atomenergomash), Bochvar Institute (material science research facility of TVEL Fuel Company), Elemash Machine-building plant and Kurchatov Institute national research center. At the site of OKB Gidropress research and experiment facility, the new fuel passed a range of hydraulic, longevity and vibration tests.

The first consignment of the modified fuel will be delivered to Paks NPP in 2020. The engineering contract between TVEL JSC and MVM Paks Ltd. for development of the new VVER-440 fuel was signed in late 2017.


Paks NPP is the only functioning nuclear power plant in Hungary with total installed capacity 1902 MWe. It operates four similar units powered by VVER-440 reactors and commissioned one by one in 1982-1987. Currently, Paks NPP is the only VVER-440 plant in the world operating in extended 15-monthes fuel cycle. The power plant produces about 15 bln kWh annually, about a half of electric power generation in Hungary. In 2018, the project of increasing the duration of Paks NPP fuel cycle won the European competition Quality Innovation Award in the nomination “Innovations of large enterprises”. Russian engineers from TVEL JSC, Kurchatov Institute, OKB Gidropress, Bochvar Institute and Elemash Machine-building plant provided assistance to the Hungarian colleagues in accomplishment of the project.

Paks II Nuclear Power Plant is built on the basis of the Russian-Hungarian intergovernmental agreement signed on 14 January 2014 by the general contractor ASE EC JSC., a subsidiary of Rosatom. The two VVER-1200 type units are implemented within the framework of international cooperation. Equipment of the turbine engine room is supplied by GE, while instrumentation and control are supplied by the consortium of Framatome of France and Siemens of Germany. Rosatom – supplying the technology of the Paks II Nuclear Power Plant – is a leading global nuclear company.

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.  www.tvel.ru  

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