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The project of fuel cycle elongation at Paks NPP won European Quality Innovation Award

15.03.2018, 10:29


Paks NPP (Hungary) won the European competition Quality Innovation Award in the nomination “Innovations of large enterprises" with its project of increasing the duration of the fuel cycle from 12 to 15 months. The jury noted that elongation of the fuel cycle of the Paks NPP contributed to a higher economic efficiency of the power plant's operation which meets all safety requirements.

In order to convert four power units with VVER-440 reactors to a 15-month fuel cycle, JSC TVEL completed a range of works on the design and licensing of modernized nuclear fuel and improvement of fuel cycles at 1,485 MW of thermic power output of the reactor. The specialists of the leading Russian scientific, design and manufacturing organizations, such as National Research Center Kurchatov Institute, OKB Gidropress Experimental and Design Organization, Bochvar Institute of Inorganic Materials and Machinebuilding Plant JSC participated in the work.

Engineers of the Paks NPP developed a physical project for the introduction of 15-month fuel cycles, the verification calculations of which were carried out by specialists from the Kurchatov Institute. A set of works was carried out to analyse the safety of operation of the Paks NPP in close cooperation between Russian and Hungarian nuclear engineers.
The project for the introduction of 15-month fuel cycles made it possible to ensure the safe operation of power units 1-4 of the Paks NPP, while reducing the number of scheduled preventive equipment repairs of and shortening their duration, which increased the capacity utilization factor of the power plant. At present, Paks NPP is the only nuclear power plant in the world with VVER-440 pressurized water reactors operating in a 15-month fuel cycle.
The contract relations between TVEL JSC and Paks NPP embrace the supply of nuclear fuel to all four power units of the power plant with a nominal electric capacity of 440 MW each until the end of their operation. The Hungarian nuclear power plant is supplied with second-generation nuclear fuel for VVER-440 reactors.
In November 2017, JSC TVEL and MVM Paks NPP Ltd. signed an engineering services contract for introduction of modified second generation fuel assemblies with increased uranium capacity and an optimized water-uranium ratio at the existing power units of the Paks NPP. This will make the work of the power plant even more cost-effective while maintaining the current fuel cycle parameters.


The annual international competition Quality and Innovation is held under the auspices of the European Organization for Quality (EOQ). For the first time it was held in Finland in 2007 as a national competition, which then became international, now it is attended by companies from 13 countries in Europe. The contest is held in two stages: the winners of national qualifying stages are allowed to the international final. In 2017, a total of 431 projects were announced for the competition. The ceremony of awarding the winners of the Quality Innovation Award 2017 was held in February 2018 in Bilbao (Spain).

TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom incorporates enterprises for the fabrication of nuclear fuel, conversion and enrichment of uranium, the 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 provides nuclear fuel for 75 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. www.tvel.ru