TVEL to introduce new fuel at India’s Kudankulam nuclear plant

TVEL, Rosatom’s nuclear fuel division, has signed an agreement with Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. to extend the operational cycles of the Kudankulam plant by supplying TVS-2M, a new fuel design, TVEL said in a statement Dec. 9.

Compared to the UTVS fuel currently supplied to Kudankulam, where two VVER V-412 units operate and additional reactors are in development, TVS-2M fuel assemblies have several advantages that make them more reliable and cost-effective, TVEL said.

Due to their welded frame, the TVS-2M assemblies retain their shape in the reactor core; have greater protection from cladding wear, thus preventing depressurization; and have more vibration resistance, the company said.

“Everything that we offer to our Indian partners is focused on obtaining economic benefits from nuclear power unit operation. This efficiency is achieved due to the increased uranium content in a fuel bundle, reducing the amount of spent fuel and increasing the duration of the fuel cycle from three to four and a half years,” Natalia Nikipelova, president of TVEL, said in the statement.

One TVS-2M assembly contains 7.6% more uranium than a UTVS assembly, the company said.

Earlier, TVEL Fuel Company successfully replaced UTVS with TVS-2M fuel at the Tianwan plant in China, extending its operating cycle from 12 to 18 months, it said.